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The girls (including my wife) are all addicted to Minecraft since Santa brought them tablets for Christmas so this weekend I had some free time to do what I do best....obsess over the Bengals and do a deep dive into Free Agency and the draft.

I checked out Pro Football Focus and they had projected 2014 starting rosters with player rankings. LINK: https://www.profootballfocus.com/blog/2014/02/19/projected-lineups-cincinnati-bengals/

And so I figured I would geek out over that and build my own spreadsheet with the following ratings (first a disclaimer: I necessarily agree with their player rankings because while grading a player every play on the field is fine and dandy, it takes no consideration of locker room presence, leadership, toughness, et al....and so I completely disagree with their position on Peko for example) based upon their findings alone as an independant evaluator.

They give players a 6-tier scale and I have assigned a point system to go with that scale so I can quantify their opinions. Elite Starter (which I assign a +3 point value) and there are very few of these. High Quality Starter, which I assign +2 points. Solid Starter/Valuable Role Player, +1 point. Adequate Starter/Solid Role Player, 0 points. Below Average Starter/Adequate Role Player, -1 point. Poor Starter/Gamble, -2 points. Unknown, -1 point.

So I went through the Bengals....they have the Bengals with 1 Elite Player (Atkins), 5 High Quality Starters (Green, A. Smith, Whitworth, Hall, and Burfict), 8 Solid Starters (Bernard, M. Jones, Boling, Zeitler, A. Jones, Nelson, Harrison, Dunlap), 6 Adequate Starters (Dalton, Hawkins, Cook, Eifert, Iloka, Newman), 2 Below Average Starters (Peko and Maualuga), 1 Poor Starter (Gresham), and 1 Unknown (Hunt). No mention of Gilberry, Geathers, Sanu (though they mention him in their narrative as having upside), or Green Ellis. And clearly this is not 22 players because they are including #1 and #2 TEs, Slot WRs, Slot CBs as starters. I believe they are projecting us losing both MJ and Collins and of course they cannot project draft selections or Free Agent Signings.

But....taken on face value, with my values the Bengals grade out with a 16. I also graded out on the website the Browns (-3), the Steelers (+5), and the Ravens (0), so far so good.... I also looked at several other teams in the AFC (I am a little Autistic if you couldn't tell and football is my "thing") NE (+13), KC (+11), Den (+17), SD (+1), Ind (+5), and Hou (+4). Seattle and San Fran graded out the best at +24 each, no surprise.

I post this just to show the possibilities of the roster in 2014 at a worst case scenario, now of course if this was a real professional evaluation the individual positions would have to weighted based on impact and that would draw the Steelers closer to the Bengals because clearly Big Ben would weight more than Dalton would. On paper we should again win the AFC North and provided Dalton can cut down on the turnovers we should be in position to compete for the AFC Championship....of course the games aren't played on paper but at least things like this will help me get through the next two months.

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