Bengals Super Bowl Odds
Cincinnati Bengals 25/1
Early on this was going to be the best season ever for the Bengals.
They started 8-0 to gain the attention of the nation as a serious contender. Down the stretch they were not as strong and losing their starting quarterback didn’t help.
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However, as this team readies for a division/playoff game I like their chances of hoisting a Lombardi Trophy. Don’t write them off just yet.
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Their Defense is That Good
When the regular season was over and done with Cincinnati was second in the league and tops in the AFC in points allowed.
There is more pressure on this group with Andy Dalton not currently available but this defense gets it done with playmakers at all three levels.
It is a good enough group to steal a game if they have to.
Even with Dalton out, or especially with him out, the balance that Cincinnati has is important. This team has a good offensive line and they can run the ball.
They can run it with power thanks to Jeremy Hill, or with shifty Giovanni Bernard – both had more than 700 yards.
When they throw A.J. Green is capable of beating any cornerback in a one on one battle and Tyler Eifert if very difficult to cover with a linebacker without help. None of those players are at the absolute top of their positions but combined it is a lethal group.
Big Play Ability
We have all seen those Green highlight catches but he was actually second on the team in TD catches this season to Eifert who had 13. Carlos Dunlap and Geno Atkins combined for 24.5 sacks and Reggie Nelson had eight interceptions to tie for the league lead.
No matter where you look this team has players who can and do make plays that change games.
In a single game elimination tournament those can be all the difference.
Possible Return of Red Rifle
The status of starting quarterback Andy Dalton is unknown at this moment. He will not play against Pittsburgh this weekend but beyond that it is possible that he makes a return.
If he does and shows no effects of the injury or rust it could be just the kind of momentum boost that this team needs to finally make it to the promise land. He is no longer considered a liability.
Fate is not going to beat the Patriots at Gillette Stadium in January but you have to wonder is maybe it is the Bengals turn this season.
They are a good team and the rest of the AFC is not as imposing as it looked four to six weeks ago.
There was definitely nothing fateful about losing Dalton to injury but beyond that there is no reason to say this team cannot make a run for a few games like they did to start the season.
They are capable of that calibre of play.
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