At this point last season, you would have been hard pressed to find anyone that believed the Bengals would be a respectable football team, much less a playoff contender.
Fast forward to today.
The Bengals are considered a legitimate threat to unseat the Ravens and the Steelers as the dominant teams in the AFC North, and the Bengals' hopes and dreams for 2012 hinge on a couple of young players that made their mark a season ago.
The Bengals were looking to replace troublesome quarterback Carson Palmer in last year's draft. With the 35th overall pick, they did just that by drafting Andy Dalton out of TCU. Andy Dalton was expected to struggle in his rookie season with what was considered a poor team at best, but he surprised everyone by leading his new team to the playoffs as the AFC's 6th seed.
The Bengals high level of success a season ago probably wouldn't have been possible without another high pick from the 2011 draft. A.J. Green was the 4th selection overall, and the ...