Today's question: The Cincinnati Bengals have had five consecutive winless playoff trips. This offseason, they lost key veterans Marvin Jones, Mohamed Sanu and Reggie Nelson. Although they had a nice draft haul, do they have enough to finally win a playoff game?
Pat McManamon, Cleveland Browns reporter: Were it not for a late-game epic meltdown, they would have won one last season — with a backup quarterback. But there's the problem. Marvin Lewis has rolled the dice with talented guys with short fuses; sometimes that combination is too volatile. The Bengals still have a ton of talent, with two very good backs and A.J. Green at receiver. This season will show whether Jones and Sanu benefited from Green, or if they are as good as their new paychecks suggest they are. Andy Dalton seems to need that one playoff victory to put him over the hump they were so close to clearing last season. Cincinnati won't win the division, but they will be a wild card. That would give them another opportunityt to win an opening-round game.
Jamison Hensley, Baltimore Ravens reporter: The Bengals won’t win a playoff game because they won’t even the postseason. Cincinnati, which has been the surest bet in the division, will fail to reach the playoffs for the first time since 2010. This has the feel of an 8-8 team. Why? The losses of Jones and Sanu are big. The loss of offensive coordinator Hue Jackson is even bigger. He brought swagger and creativity to the Bengals. Now the play-calling duties go to Ken Zampese, who has never been an NFL offensive coordinator despite being in the league since 1998. The addition of free agent Brandon LaFell is underwhelming, and tight end Tyler Eifert’s inability to stay healthy is cause for concern. Last year's seventh-highest scoring offense is primed to take a step backward. The same can be said of the entire Bengals team.
Jeremy Fowler, Pittsburgh Steelers reporter: The Bengals’ playoff-wins drought isn’t about the roster. They were set to win last year with AJ McCarron and fumble-prone Jeremy Hill. The problem is the Bengals can’t get out of their own way. The struggles are hard to pinpoint. Their belief system needs more belief. Smart, inspired play drifts in January. Perhaps when the Bengals break through with a playoff victory, a seismic momentum shift in the AFC North will follow. But when you think of the Bengals’ roster, they have enough to get it done. A.J. Green and Tyler Eifert and Hill and Giovani Bernard aren’t going anywhere. The Bengals will like Tyler Boyd’s playmaking. The offensive line is still stout. The signing of safety Shawn Williams to a four-year deal signals they were content moving on from Reggie Nelson. One concern is cornerback. Adam Jones has revitalized his career, but the drafting of William Jackson suggests the Bengals need more from former first-rounders Dre Kirkpatrick and Darqueze Dennard, even if teams can never have enough good corners.