Cincinnati's shot in the AFC North

The Bengals should forget balance on both sides of the ball

Originally Published: October 21, 2012
By Mel Kiper Jr. | ESPN Insider
Andy DaltonTyler Barrick/Getty ImagesAndy Dalton has struggled to protect the football this season.

Could a team with consecutive losses to Miami and Cleveland be considered a favorite in a division with Baltimore and Pittsburgh? I wouldn't go that far yet with the Cincinnati Bengals, but there's no question that key injuries all over the Ravens' and Steelers' lineups make those two at least look vulnerable.

Is the door open? Yes, but the question is how open. Injuries, after all, are nothing new, and every team suffers its share, but that has changed little in the AFC North. Pittsburgh or Baltimore has won or shared the division title in nine of the past 10 years. In looking at the Bengals, I see a team that can't hope for help from the traditional powers in their division, because they need to pay more attention to their own shortcomings.

Where can they make their move? I see three tactical changes that can be made:

1. Stop billing hours to the Law Firm

Mel Kiper Jr.

Football analyst