Bengals off to hot start, but Steelers game looms large

7

There’s a set of televisions on the wall between the tunnel at Paul Brown Stadium and the Bengals’ locker room.

The televisions were airing the conclusion of the Browns-Ravens game on Sunday afternoon just minutes after the Bengals came back to win 27-17 against the Dolphins. A number of players came through the tunnel and stopped to watch the game before Bengals coach Marvin Lewis hurried them along.

It’s true that the Bengals don’t need to worry about what their division opponents are doing right now, when they sit alone on top of the AFC North with a 4-1 record. But it’s also true that everything changes this week, when the Steelers come to town.

“We handle things by blocking out all of the noise and continuing to grind,” Bengals wide receiver A.J. Green said. “Nobody gave us a chance when the season started. Why do they believe in us now? We’re going to continue to keep playing and keep playing for each other.”cheap nfl jerseys wholesale

The Bengals have checked almost every box in this young season. They’ve won games by virtue of their defense when the offense struggled, and their offense has had unprecedented success in games when the defense struggled. They have a knack for forcing turnovers, and they’ve been able to put teams away late when it was needed most.7

It was the Steelers who knocked the Bengals out of the playoffs in the 2015 wild-card round, and Cincinnati hasn’t beaten Pittsburgh in four tries since that night. This team certainly seems to have its best chance in years to change that.

The Bengals are 8-24, including playoffs, against Pittsburgh in the Marvin Lewis era, and they have not beaten the Steelers in their past six tries. The Bengals jumped to a 17-point lead in their previous meeting before the Steelers came back to win 23-20.

The players might not admit it publicly, but they know how much this one means. The win against the Dolphins proved that the Bengals can erase deficits and come up with game-changing plays to come out on top. A win against the Steelers would not only give them solid footing in the AFC North and a 5-1 record before they face the Chiefs on the road but also symbolize something bigger.replica nike nfl jerseys

“This is a divisional game, and everyone knows what that’s about, but we’ve just got to go out there and play hard,” running back Joe Mixon said.

A win next week would say that whatever happened in the past isn’t keeping the Bengals down this time. It would prove that the team is full of enough