Logan Mankins' situation may help Bengals

The NFL is a highly-competitive league where any advantage might be the difference in winning and losing.

For the Cincinnati Bengals, they should keep an eye on the situation involving New England Patriots Pro Bowl guard Logan Mankins. He's currently involved in an ugly contract dispute with New England that probably won't end any time soon. Cincinnati will play the Patriots in Week 1.

Mankins is New England's best offensive lineman. His potential absence will only hurt the Patriots against Cincinnati's physical defense, which ranked fourth in the NFL last season.

Recently, we wrote how New York Jets Pro Bowl cornerback Darrelle Revis' contract holdout could also help the Baltimore Ravens in Week 1. The AFC East division will be a tough opponent throughout the year for the AFC North. But potentially missing a pair of Pro Bowlers early makes it a little easier.