Cincinnati Bengals opinion

Robert Marshall, Senior Staff Writer

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It’s a new year and a new season and the Cincinnati Bengals are looking good. Good enough to win their first playoff game since 1990.

They are undefeated at 6-0, leading the AFC North standings. In a league of undefeated teams, like the Green Bay Packers, New England Patriots, Denver Broncos and Carolina Panthers.

Their biggest win of the season was a comeback victory against the Seattle Seahawks. Down 17 points going into the fourth quarter, Andy Dalton stepped up and led his team to tie the game at 24. Dalton looked like a more poised quarterback than in past seasons.

He’s had strong performances, but in this game Dalton looked like an Aaron Rodgers or a Tom Brady leading his team to victory. He showed that without a doubt, he is the leader of this team. In past seasons, Dalton crumbled under pressure, but not in this game.

The Bengals’ defense stepped up when it counted. In the Seattle game, the Bengals outscored the Seahawks by 20 after the third quarter.
But there’s one thing that us Bengals fans hear time and time again: when will the Bengals win a playoff game?

In the past three years they have made it to the Wild Card game of the NFL playoffs. The result? Dalton chokes and the team loses, opening the on–and-off again “Dalton sucks,  get rid of him and head coach Marvin Lewis” comments.

They’ve struggled for that elusive first playoff win, but with Dalton playing like the quarterback the Bengals expected when they drafted him from TCU, they look unstoppable.

Through six games, he’s thrown for 1,761 yards, second-best in the league – behind Phillip Rivers  – averaging 9.1 per completion. He has 14 touchdowns, with only two interceptions.

But it’s not just Dalton who’s performing better this year; the whole offense is. They’re ranked third in total offense. Star wide receiver A.J. Green is always a beast on the field, but with the double threat of running backs Giovani Bernard and Jeremy Hill, opponents have to relook their run defense.

Tight end Tyler Eifert has played a big part this year. Green has always been a No.1 target for Dalton, but Eifert this year is a close second.

After only playing one game last year due to an elbow injury, he’s back in action this year with 342 yards already, compared to his 442 yards in 2013.

The Bengals biggest test of the season thus far will be against the Pittsburgh Steelers when they travel to Heinz Field Nov. 1, and face “Big” Ben Roethlisberger who is scheduled to make his return from his injury.

Dalton will have to prove that his spectacular performance these past few games weren’t flukes. Especially against a team that knows the Bengals well in their heated rivalry.

The Bengals will win their first playoff game in recent memory, kick-starting their run towards their first Super Bowl win.

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