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Bengals are major players in AFC playoff race

Cincinnati Bengals v Tennessee Titans Getty Images

Don’t be too quick to say tonight’s game between the Ravens and Steelers is for AFC North supremacy. The Cincinnati Bengals would like to say something about that.

The Bengals made another statement on Sunday that they’re real players in the AFC playoff race, taking out the Titans 24-17 in Tennessee and improving to 6-2 in this surprising season. Whoever wins tonight’s game between the 6-2 Steelers and 5-2 Ravens, the Bengals will be right there with them.

Cincinnati got another efficient, effective game from their rookie quarterback Andy Dalton, and another big game from rookie receiver A.J. Green. Those two youngsters are two big reasons to be excited about the Bengals’ future.

But there are a lot of reasons to be excited about the Bengals’ present as well. The Bengals have a stout defense and good special teams and are among the more balanced teams in the NFL right now. There’s every reason to believe the Bengals are heading toward the playoffs.

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55 Responses to “Bengals are major players in AFC playoff race”
  1. 1buckeye76 says: Nov 6, 2011 7:30 PM

    It’s been a fun season, i hope they can keep it going. Go Bengals!

  2. bgdabengal says: Nov 6, 2011 7:31 PM

    Palmer, Thank You!!!

  3. blitzdorsey says: Nov 6, 2011 7:31 PM

    In other words … WHO DEY!

    6-2, what about you?

  4. lamepftposter says: Nov 6, 2011 7:32 PM

    i hate this, because mike brown is a complete fool. instead of saying “ok. this is good.”, he will celebrate his own “genius” strategy of being an a-hole and treating his fans like peons. whatever.

  5. maxvv says: Nov 6, 2011 7:32 PM

    The PFT writers await this moment each week with glee, waiting to remind us that the AFC North team that has yet to play either the Steelers or Ravens are HUGE CONTENDERS YOU GUYS.

  6. ktravp says: Nov 6, 2011 7:33 PM

    Who Dey!!!!! I almost had a coronary watching this game, but very glad to see us get another win on the road. Special thanks to PFT for finally giving us some credit and not brandishing another picture of a topless Andre Smith. We really need to clean up the penalties especially Jerome Simpson. Looking forward to having Gresham and potentially Maualuga next week at home against the Steelers.

    Who Dey!!!!!!

  7. thomas2727 says: Nov 6, 2011 7:33 PM

    Saying this makes me want to choke but Mike Brown looks like a genius for getting such a huge haul from the Raiders for Carson Palmer.

    The future looks bright in Cincinnati if Mike Brown does not remember he is Mike Brown and find a way to screw it up.

  8. artanis72 says: Nov 6, 2011 7:34 PM

    Good job Cincy…
    …and to think you were supposed to be the worst team in the league…

    Even if Cincy sputters and goes 8-8, the future looks bright for the leagues youngest team.

  9. mrplow3 says: Nov 6, 2011 7:35 PM

    TEBOW, TEBOW, TEBOW

  10. firegoodell says: Nov 6, 2011 7:36 PM

    Easy there…yes they are 6-2 but I would dare say you can say they will get beat by the both the steelers and the ravens….twice each….10-6 (if they win all their other games) is a great season but won’t get them in the playoffs from the AFC North Division.

  11. Gordon says: Nov 6, 2011 7:37 PM

    Is this the end of the Bungles?

  12. mhmdibrahim says: Nov 6, 2011 7:37 PM

    The Raiders are begging the Bengals to take Carson Palmer back. They even offered to pay his salary, a source close to the situation said.

  13. deanvernonwormer says: Nov 6, 2011 7:38 PM

    When wild card weekend begins the Bengals will be on the outside looking in.

  14. acerockefellar says: Nov 6, 2011 7:38 PM

    WHO DEYYYY!!!!!!

  15. NakedCowboy! says: Nov 6, 2011 7:42 PM

    good to see bengals doing well after dumping all their prima donnas… chad looks done in NE… palmer is stinking it up elsewhere now and TO circus has left the town…

  16. boilerup1869 says: Nov 6, 2011 7:42 PM

    Amazing that they lost Carson and Chad and are now not just competitive, but looking playoff-bound.

    This is an unexpected instance of addition by subtraction.

  17. iknowitallandmore says: Nov 6, 2011 7:45 PM

    Carson who?????

    Mike Brown is a GENIUS!!!!!!!!!!

  18. kyleortonsarm says: Nov 6, 2011 7:48 PM

    I remember this one time, like a couple years ago, Denver was 6-2 also. I bet it’ll work out as good for the Dungles as it did for us.

  19. thetechnocrat says: Nov 6, 2011 7:50 PM

    Easy there chief, the teams they have beaten have a combined record of 16-33 and none of them have a winning record.

  20. eodmike says: Nov 6, 2011 7:52 PM

    They may not get in a crowded field of would-be wild card teams (tons of teams bunched up now), but the reality is…they could split with the Steelers/Ravens (which they have done even in down years) and be in a position to get in.

    That alone is a big jump for a 4-win team in 2010. They have yet to get blown out (a real problem for the usually-inconsistent Bengals of the past), and seem to be playing with some confidence.

    All good reasons for Bengal fans to tune in. I’d love to say all their hard games are in front of them (and at least 4 of them are – see above Steelers/Ravens), but the Niners were solid and the Bills are no fluke…fading a bit, but no fluke.

    It should be interesting.

  21. thetechnocrat says: Nov 6, 2011 7:58 PM

    Oops forgot the Bills are 5-3. One team they’ve beaten has a winning record.

  22. waynesborokennyg says: Nov 6, 2011 7:58 PM

    Who-Dey! And to think this young team could potentially receive 4 1st round picks in the next 2 drafts!! It’s insane to think about the turn around this team looks to have from last year.

  23. 1buckeye76 says: Nov 6, 2011 8:02 PM

    firegoodell says: Nov 6, 2011 7:36 PM

    Easy there…yes they are 6-2 but I would dare say you can say they will get beat by the both the steelers and the ravens….twice each….10-6 (if they win all their other games) is a great season but won’t get them in the playoffs from the AFC North Division.

    ————————

    that’s not a safe assumption at all. while the steelers have had our number more often than not, we’ve split 50/50 with them in the last two years. the ravens, we’ve beaten 8 or the last 12 time we’ve played them. cincy will not be 0-4 in those division games.

  24. eezyxyz says: Nov 6, 2011 8:03 PM

    thetechnocrat says: “Easy there chief, the teams they have beaten have a combined record of 16-33 and none of them have a winning record.”

    Actually, they beat the Bills who were 3-0 at the time and are now 5-3, and since the Titans are 4-4 the only reason they don’t have a winning record is BECAUSE the Bengals beat them – they’d be 5-3 otherwise. Let’s all just be nice and give a team credit for winning 5 straight games. If you’ve watched the NFL for any length of time you’ve got to know that isn’t easy, no matter how soft you think a team’ schedule is.

  25. eodmike says: Nov 6, 2011 8:04 PM

    thetechnocrat says:

    Nov 6, 2011 7:58 PM
    Oops forgot the Bills are 5-3. One team they’ve beaten has a winning record.

    Your point is well taken. Once they play the Steelers and Ravens, we’ll have a better picture of their potential for a (gasp) playoff spot. Not only are they both quality teams, they are division foes who the Bengals are competing most directly for a spot.

  26. tampajoey says: Nov 6, 2011 8:05 PM

    Who Dey baby! Feel good story of the 2011 season! Keep it up Bengals!

  27. artanis72 says: Nov 6, 2011 8:05 PM

    …for those of you who are not Bengals fans and keep telling us to “hold on there” let me put something in perspective for you…

    …prior to the start of the season, we were all told by SI, by ESPN, by everyone everywhere, that the Bengals were one of the three worst teams in the league…we knew better

    …and now the rest of you know better too…this team is for real…even if they play .500 for the rest of the season that still puts them at 10-6 with a good chance at a wild card spot…this is the youngest team in the league and will only get better as time goes on.

  28. donbaseball says: Nov 6, 2011 8:13 PM

    Best record in the AFC.

  29. mswravens says: Nov 6, 2011 8:16 PM

    I caught a lot of game & hate to admit Bengals are impressive. Dalton made some outstanding passes. Faded down the stretch…but Bengals D played great 2nd half. They are very much in the mix & may supplant either Steelers or Ravens in playoffs. Like I said, hate to admit it…

  30. joetoronto says: Nov 6, 2011 8:19 PM

    The Bengals are last years Chiefs, a super weak schedule makes them pretenders all the way.

  31. whodeyjpc says: Nov 6, 2011 8:23 PM

    And their 2 losses to the Broncos and 49ers were by a combined 7 points. Sure the schedule has been soft…but they can’t control that. And now with confidence they play tough divisional games and with only a .500 remaining schedule = 10-6 and playoffs/wildcard.

  32. ny82jy says: Nov 6, 2011 8:29 PM

    Wait until the play the steelers and ravens twice before calling them major players. They have done a nice job but they have had a very soft schedule so far and havent played the two best teams in the division yet.

  33. natigator says: Nov 6, 2011 8:40 PM

    I’m not quite sure why most of these comments are dumping on the Bengals. Winning 5 straight in the NFL is an impressive feat, I dont care who the 5 teams are you have beaten.

    I cant see the future so I have no idea if they will make the playoffs or not, but considering most pre-season polls had the Bengals finishing at, or at least near the very bottom of the league – this season has been a resounding success considering that the Bengals will be playing meaningful games late into December.

    The future is bright, a solid rookie QB, a rookie WR who already looks to be elite, a stout defense, a strong running game, and a fleecing of Oakland. As hard as it is to believe, give the Bengals credit.

  34. sophiethegreatdane says: Nov 6, 2011 8:43 PM

    As a Baltimore fan, I have to say that anyone who thinks the Bengals are going to be 0-4 against the Ravens and Steelers doesn’t know a thing about AFC North football. Unless Dalton gets hurt, the Bengals will give us all fits.

  35. wilcoxmr says: Nov 6, 2011 8:57 PM

    the Bengals only have one bad lost and that is to the Broncos… the 49′ners are a good team and the bills are decent… the browns and the titans are both ok teams… Give them some credit they look good and Andy Dalton is looking good as a rookie

  36. bailey2626 says: Nov 6, 2011 8:58 PM

    thetechnocrat says: “Easy there chief, the teams they have beaten have a combined record of 16-33 and none of them have a winning record.”

    Oh right, just like the Steelers have only beaten two teams with a winning record. And they play the exact same teams as the Bengals (except for two). Honestly, the easy sos argument is getting really OLD!

  37. 303bengalguy says: Nov 6, 2011 8:59 PM

    Even if my favorite team gets swept by the Ravens and Steelers, they’re still in position to be a playoff team. And what’s been so great about this year is, they’re not losing games to teams they shouldn’t, EXCEPT that early loss on the road at Denver. In years past, that could be one of numerous “games that got away” yet is the only one so far here. You could even say that about the 49ers game, they very well could have won that too.

    Dalton’s stat line: 22-39, 217 yards (nothin special right?) but….. 3 TD ZERO TURNOVERS.

    Meanwhile in a far away land… Carson Palmer: ~100 more yards than Dalton, similar %, same TD’s, but… 3 INT and a fumble… and a LOSS.

  38. ninerboi says: Nov 6, 2011 9:04 PM

    I’m happy for the Bengals…good to see them having a great season…hope they face us in the Super Bowl…and I hope for the same result as last time :-)

    Niners Fan

  39. jfd117 says: Nov 6, 2011 9:33 PM

    The Raiders just offered 2 first round picks for Dalton.

  40. hineswardcriesafterfumbling says: Nov 6, 2011 9:40 PM

    If the Bengals are pretenders because of their schedule, then you have to put the Steelers in the same category.
    Steelers Wins
    Seattle (Bengals also beat Seattle)
    Colts (Bengals beat the Colts)
    Titans (same as above)
    Jaguars (ditto)
    Cardinals (the Browns have a better record)
    Patriots (5-3 and lost to the 5-3 Bills, who the Bengals beat)

  41. firegoodell says: Nov 6, 2011 9:56 PM

    that’s not a safe assumption at all. while the steelers have had our number more often than not, we’ve split 50/50 with them in the last two years. the ravens, we’ve beaten 8 or the last 12 time we’ve played them. cincy will not be 0-4 in those division games.

    I will bet the bengals get swept by both the Ravens and the Steelers

  42. tking63 says: Nov 6, 2011 9:59 PM

    Really (PFT), They’ve played one team that will make the playoffs and lost, the jury is still out on the Bills. I really think they are like the Bucs of last year thier schedule workouts for them to win 9 maybe 10 games. When your pro bowl QB rather retire then play nothing good can come of that.

  43. hcountryman says: Nov 6, 2011 10:23 PM

    For the record:
    Baltimore has lost to Jacksonville and Tennessee. Cincy beat them both.
    Pittsburgh squeaked by Indy, got blown out by the Ravens in week 1.
    Neither team is a powerhouse.
    And Cincy is 2 plays away from 8-0.
    There is no way we lose all 4 games to these two teams.

  44. bronutz says: Nov 6, 2011 10:27 PM

    Dear fellow Bengal fan-

    Don’t get so upset when fans of other teams don’t give the Bengals respect for this season so far. Simply put, we have not earned that right yet. The Bengals have been the worst franchise for years. The Bengals ineptitude has been the well deserved butt of many jokes for years, and its going to take more than a 6-2 record to change the other football fans’ view of this team. And you should be fine with that. Let the other teams’ fans continue to discredit and ignore what the this team has accomplished so far. You should read their comments and smile. Smile knowing that what this team is doing now and how bright the future is for this team is going to silence these people. Revenge is a dish best served cold. So over the next few years as the Bengals continue to improve their already solid team into what I hope is a Super Bowl contender. Then when the Bengals beat their team you can just smile and say one word: Scoreboard.

  45. ownedyou says: Nov 6, 2011 10:54 PM

    maxvv says:Nov 6, 2011 7:32 PM

    The PFT writers await this moment each week with glee, waiting to remind us that the AFC North team that has yet to play either the Steelers or Ravens are HUGE CONTENDERS YOU GUYS.
    ——————————————————
    First off pft has given cincy no love…remember not just pft but espn and anyone else with a voice was telling you this team would be lucky to complete a foward pass let alone win more than 3 or 4 games….The bengals record over the last 2 years + 1 clev. game in the division is 9-4 marvin has a winning record against those ravens over the last 8 years.The bengals know what’s comin and will be ready!

  46. mercurialcj says: Nov 6, 2011 11:53 PM

    Love what we have in Cincinnati, WHODEY!

  47. thetechnocrat says: Nov 7, 2011 12:13 AM

    No matter how many people reply to my first post without taking time to read my second post adding the Bills BEFORE any of their posts, they still have only beaten one winning team…Fact
    So until they beat real contenders like Houston, Pittsburgh and Baltimore lets not act like they’re the Packers or any of the aforementioned teams.

  48. whodey14to18 says: Nov 7, 2011 12:23 AM

    I am so sick of everyone talking about our “soft schedule.” Wanna talk about a soft schedule? The combined record of teams the so-called great steelers is 15-36 (.294). The bengals? 16-33 (.327). Seems to me that that all you steeler people need to check facts before you rip on us.

  49. raqaiw says: Nov 7, 2011 1:00 AM

    Isn’t it funny how most of the Ravens fans are congratulating the Bengals and the Steelers fans are downplaying their victories….everybody knows the Bengals are legit, if only because they do exactly wat the Ravens and Steelers do:PLAY DEFENSE. While I do think the Ravens will sweep them, they’ll give us trouble because it’s hard to score on the AFC North teams. Period.

  50. 1fast84 says: Nov 7, 2011 1:02 AM

    i Love that all the media and other team fans think bengals wins are a fluke and because of the schedule. I hope ravens and steelers think each other is the biggest contender. And we can gently fly under the radar and quietly squeeze into the playoffs and leave the other guys in awe like what just happened.

  51. quittsburghstoolers says: Nov 7, 2011 2:21 AM

    If you were a Titans fan, this game broke your heart.

    Up by 10 at half and with excellent field position on their first drive in the 3rd quarter, they blew it.

    Could have salted the game away right there. But they p*ssed it away…

  52. thalawless1 says: Nov 7, 2011 2:43 AM

    @thetechnocrat
    The Bills were 3-0 and the Titans were 4-3 at the time the Bengals played them. Pretty sure both are winning records.

  53. johnnyb1976 says: Nov 7, 2011 10:05 AM

    I’m having a hard time with everyone bringing up schedules everyone in the AFC north plays the same teams outside a couple here and there so to say ” Who have the bengals beat? ” they have beaten the same teams for the most part that Pitt & Bal have. They just beat a team that took Bal behind the woodshed in the same building. They beat a Buffalo team that beat NE which Pitt beat. So before you go writing them off because of their schedule take a look at everyones schedule and who they’ve beaten to this point. BRING ON THE STEELERS!!!!!! WHO DEY!!!!!!

  54. steelersownyou says: Nov 7, 2011 3:01 PM

    We’ll find out about the bungles in next 4 games I think youll beat balt once theyll beat you once. This week no way you beat my steelers. And browns beat you. Next 4 games 1-3. And it will be all over for you! But the good news is you got the dumb fool raiders to give up a 1st rounder… What a brain dead organization they are! In 2- 4 yrs the bungles will be at the top with steelers & ravens. Thanks to all the top round draft picks you guys have in the next 3 rounds. Ill actually be nervpus to play the bungles then. But til that day. You dont atand a chance!

  55. spencodude says: Nov 7, 2011 10:48 PM

    How’s it going carson?

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