I agree with the bolded. I do see a team with really poor depth overall, but the starters are largely there, especially on offense. Coincidently, the last time I messed around with Football Mogol, I was handling the Bengals and, looking at that game now, the stats are still loaded. I made just 3 changes on offense: brought in Michael Floyd as a FA WR#3, reassigned TE Cethan Carter to an H-back position to provide some actual blocking from the backfield for Mixon, and set the alignment to show run 10% more than pass. I averaged 28.1 ppg after the simulated season. Floyd was a huge surprise hauling in 49/615/2, but much of that production probably occurred while Green was injured. No WR exceeded 960 yds on the season and Dalton and Mixon stayed healthy all year. Mixon was a monster in this situation, combining for just under 2100 total yards with 20 rushing td's plus 5 more through the air! Geezus!
I'm not a fan of the Bengals' D, especially the linebacking corps, where I don't know any system that would find value in that collection of misfits. The DL wasn't complete either IMO, so I switched Atkins to a DE and went with a 3-4. The resulting NT combination of Billings/Tupou was quite weak. I made 4 trades bringing in other teams' 2nd and 3rd string LBers and a S to improve speed and coverage abilities. No big names, just also-rans, who unfortunately all struggled somewhat with tackling. Had to be done though because the LBers' coverage ability and most of their speed was noticeably substandard. Just for fun - and almost as an alternative to a 3-3 Stack - I paired this front with a slightly modified Tampa 2 coverage...something generally regarded as a faux pas. (I did retain LBers Vigil, Pratt, and Evans, but only Pratt started, though he was my drop back MLB-type in the Tampa 2!) The main modification was to add a Crossfire Blitz with the ILB's. The Sim didn't use that defensive play near as often as I would have on 3rd and longs...too bad. Anyway, end of season stats showed why the pairing isn't used as a base D: gave up an average of 126 ypg on the ground and 282 through the air and only got 17 sacks for the whole D! Still this turned out to be a D that bent...SIGNIFICANTLY, but didn't break as much as one would think. Finished the season with a 10-6 record and won the AFC North! LOL. Lost in the wildcard game to Baltimore...24-21.
OK, so that was just a sim and I got insanely lucky that neither Mixon nor Dalton got injured, but imagine what would have happened if I had not utilized that funky defensive combination with the Tampa 2? Realistically, I would have pressured the QB more and and gotten off the field after 3rd down more. In short, there's no need to press the tank/rebuild button here. I'd target a QB, resign Eifert, add a S and a CB, and revamp/start revamping that LBer corp during the upcoming off-season. Overall depth will take at least a couple years to upgrade. Their Cap situation is pretty much average for the NFL and will get as good as ours after the 2020 season. With the Steelers needing QB help and teams figuring out the Ravens, they have the potential to be competitive quite soon, I'd imagine.