The Bengals are 7 and 2 and have swept both the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Baltimore Ravens!! They are 5 and 0 in the AFC North and have a definite inside track to their first AFC North title since 2005. 5 straight road wins for the first time in franchise history. Not a bad day at all in Who Dey Nation.
The real story in my eyes today other than the Bengals defense playing exceptional. How about the play of Bengals’ rookies Michael Johnson and Bernard Scott?! Scott came up huge with the lone TD of the game on a 96 yard kick return and rushed for a very hard-fought 33 yards against a great Steelers defense. Johnson consistently pressured Ben Roethlisberger and was in on numerous big defensive plays stepping in for Keith Rivers. Both of these guys definitely deserve some love and really showed signs of maturity on this afternoon.
Remember who the number 1 draft pick was this year? The big man out of Bama, Andre Smith, who is riding the pine while other draftees Bernard Scott and Michael Johnson are making things happen. Who would have thought that the Bengals could win this game without the services of the amazing Cedric Benson for the entire 2nd half? Now granted the Steelers lost their best defensive player in Troy Polamalu, but nonetheless this was the biggest win the Bengals have had in years. This is only the 2nd time the Bengals have swept the season series with the Steelers since 1991 (congrats Mike Brown).
So many great things went on in this AFC North battle, but all led to a victory for the Bengals. Hats off to Shayne Graham for making kicks in a tough environment and to the entire Bengals defense. The defense really pressured Big Ben all day and did not let him beat them on broken plays. Mike Zimmer will be hotly sought by many teams to join their coaching staffs or take over as a head coach come February. Just a phenomenal victory.
I have two big questions for you though. Can the Bengals continue to win without the services of Cedric Benson depending on his injury? Secondly, is this team a real contender that is capable of playing deep into the playoffs?
Stay tuned for Edition 64.