Now that December has started, many wives really dread Sunday afternoons. They know their husbands will be glued to the television watching football. This is even more true this year with so many teams still in the race for the playoffs. In the AFC there are 5 teams fighting for the wildcard spots. Many might be surprised that the Cincinnati Bengals are one of those teams. Most people before the year thought they would win their division, but that looks extremely unlikely to happen at this point, so they will fight with the other 4 teams competing with them. Will they make it? I don’t know, but I doubt any other team that makes the playoffs wants to play them when the playoffs start.
The Bengals started off 4-1 this year, then had a controversial loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers after that. Many Bengals fans thought they lost because of a questionable “roughing the quarterback” call. I’m a Ravens fan and even I think they may have an argument there, but the point of this editorial isn’t to discuss that call. The Bengals went on to lose 3 more. After that rough streak the Bengals had pulled themselves together to win the next three games to get back into the playoff race. The reason teams should worry is they defeated two quality playoff teams in the Saints and Ravens. In two games combined their defense who was considered one of the worst in the league gave up 7 points total to the Browns and Ravens.
If that defense holds up they will be very dangerous if they make the playoffs. The Bengals have an adequate offensive line, an effective running back, and possibly the best starting trio of wide receivers in the NFL. Their QB might be the best in the league second only to Peyton Manning. The wide receiver trio of Chad Johnson, T.J. Houshmandzadeh and Chris Henry is extremely dangerous. They all have break away speed and all three of them have had monster games at some point this year. This means a team will have to single cover at least one of these guys on each passing play and that could spell trouble. This offense can easily carry their team to a victory even when the defense struggles. If the defense continues their strong play they’ve displayed recently though they could remind everyone of another team from their division that made the playoffs last year.
Does anyone remember the Pittsburgh Steelers of last year? The Bengals could be dangerous enough to do the same thing! They are the team nobody wants to see in the playoffs this year!