The 2012 edition of the Cincinnati Bengals have kept fans on the edge of their seats all season. These Bengals have shown how great they can be, going on winning streaks of 3 and 4 games this season. However, they’ve also shown when they’re playing bad; they’re really bad losing to teams with losing records like Miami and Cleveland. They also struggled to move the ball on a Philadelphia Eagle team that has struggled defensively this season.
With that said the Bengals still have all of their goals in front of them. The message this Sunday is simple: Win and you’re in. If the Bengals win this Sunday, it will be the first time they have reached the playoffs in back-to-back seasons in 30 years. This team made the playoffs last season and anything less this year would be a major disappointment.
The time to win is now. There isn’t a reason the Bengals shouldn’t win this game. They are healthier, younger and don’t have much pressure on them. The Steelers have the pressure on their shoulders. Most people expect them to win this game simply because of their track record. Former Super Bowl MVP Ben Roethlisberger has posted a 14-4 record against the Bengals since being drafted in 2004. He dominates the Bengals and should give them all they can handle on Sunday.
But, I still believe the Bengals can win this tough road contest. They have been playing like an AFC North team should: physical.
Running Back Benjarvus Green-Ellis has proved his worth by averaging 5 yards per carry (YPC) in December games. The Bengals are 2-1 in December and Green-Ellis only had 12 carries in their lone loss to Dallas. In their wins he is averaging 25 carries per game and I would expect the Bengals to feed him the ball another 20-plus times.
The defensive line has been lights out this season pressuring the quarterback. They have a chance to set the franchise record for sacks in a season, and need to continue to put pressure on Roethlisberger this week. Led by Geno Atkins and Domata Peko, the D-line needs to have a big impact on Sunday.
The Bengals might be considered young, but the time to win is now. Players and fans have paid their dues. Now it is time to change the fortune around in Cincinnati. Andy Dalton is 0-3 against the Steelers, it’s time for him to go into Pittsburgh and get a victory. A.J. Green has yet to have a 100-yard game against the Steelers and only had 6 catches in his best game against the black and gold.
It is time for these young guys to become men. No matter how many spectacular plays they make, it will be pointless if they can’t take the next step and beat the Steelers. It’s winning time in Cincinnati and what better way to clinch a playoff spot than to eliminate the Steelers out of contention on their home field?
|A.J. Green (18) and Andy Dalton (14) were both Pro Bowlers in their|
NFL Rookie campaigns, but they look to do something Sunday
that they've never done: beat the Pittsburgh Steelers.