If you haven't noticed, the Bengals are suddenly becoming the darlings of the NFL. Most Bengals faithful would gladly offer arguments over the details. They would also be inclined to mention that most people (analysts and long time doubters) are merely getting set to jump on the bandwagon. After five current players made the NFL Network's Top 100 Players of 2016 list, there's a chance that the Bengals will be an AFC North force.
Geno Atkins was recently ranked at No. 29 on the list. He joins Carlos Dunlap, Tyler Eifert, Andy Dalton, and Andrew Whitworth on the prestigious listing. If Reggie Nelson were still a member of the Bengals franchise, he would make the count an even half-dozen. During the free agent period, Nelson left to bask on the sunny beaches of Raider Nation.
With so many appearances on the list, the Bengals look like the hands down AFC North favorite. But, it takes more than just names on a list to win another division crown. The Bengals will need to deliver. The scenario has been the same for six years. Bengals brass annually builds a competitive team. Throughout the regular season, the Bengals win with ease. Yet, the postseason always tosses a monkey wrench into the program.