Backup: Josh Johnson

Best-case scenario: The Red Rifle leads Cincinnati to a season-sweep of their division rivals, and the Bengals grab their ninth AFC North title in team history. And this year, they finally make it out of the first round in the playoffs.
Worst-case scenario: Dalton fails to elevate his game enough for the Bengals to contend against a rejuvenated Pittsburgh squad, and the still-hungry Baltimore Ravens. Cincinnati takes a step backward, and ends up with a middling 8-8 record.