The Chicago Bears play the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday to start their regular season. The Bengals have been projected to compete in the AFC North division and some experts have projected them to win the division.
If the Bengals do win their division, it likely will be because of the contributions they receive from their offense.
Speaking of the Bengals’ offense, here are five Bengals’ offensive players that the Bears’ defense needs to focus on.
- Quarterback Andy Dalton: Dalton is entering his third season in the NFL, and his development will likely take him to higher fortunes. In 2012 with the Bengals, Dalton tossed 27 touchdowns to go along with a total of 3,669 yards, a completion percentage of 62.3%, and a passer rating of 87.4.
- Wide Receiver A.J. Green: Like Dalton, Green is also entering his third season in the NFL. Three seasons in the NFL and Green has already earned a reputation for himself of being one of the league’s top receivers. With the Bengals in 2012, Green recorded 1,350 yards on 97 receptions to go along with 11 touchdowns.
- Running Back BenJarvus Green-Ellis: Ellis excelled with the Bengals last season. On 278 rushing attempts, Ellis rushed for a total of 1,094 yards and 6 touchdowns. Ellis likely will be a factor for the Bengals if the Bears are able to contain Dalton and Green.
- Tight End Tyler Eifert: Eifert was one of the top college tight ends with Notre Dame before being drafted by the Bengals in April. The Bears had Eifert on their draft board before the tight end was selected by the Bengals. Behind Green, the Bengals are thin at the wide receiver position meaning Eifert may be a viable option for the team’s offense.
- Tight End Jermaine Gresham: In each of his first three seasons in the NFL, Gresham has improved his receptions total for the season. Gresham recorded 64 receptions for the Bengals last season for a total of 737 yards and 5 touchdowns. Tight-Ends often provide a matchup concern for the Bears’ defense meaning Gresham could be an important factor on Sunday.