The naysayers have been waiting for the Cincinnati Bengals to slip up and fall thus far in the 2015 campaign, but all the Bengals seem to be doing is winning.
The club is 6-0, and after Sunday’s win in Buffalo, they have a two game lead on the Steelers in the usually ultra-competitive AFC North.
The division this season won’t be its normal three-team race with the Bengals, Steelers and Ravens, as Baltimore is a complete mess and it looks more and more like it’ll be a slug fest for the next 10 plus weeks between the Bengals and Steelers.
Many sports handicapping services still have the Bengals as the team to best in the division with their super fast start, but they have to be careful of the Steelers, who Sunday won a game that not many felt they would win at home against a very good Cardinals team.
With Andy Dalton having a great season putting up 288 yards per game and averaging 2.3 touchdowns per game with just two picks thus far, it will come down to his consistency and his play as to how far the team goes.
The Bengals also have a strong core of wide outs that should strike fear in all the other teams in the AFC. Sunday it was Marvin Jones who stepped up and played great, going for 95 yards and a touchdown.
If A.J. Green isn’t having a big game (which he usually is averaging 88.5 yards per game), then the team has Jones as well as tight end Tyler Eifert, who has been fantastic in six games (342 yards and six TD’s).
”You never know who’s going to have a big week,” Dalton said. ”Today, Marvin had a bunch of catches. It’s nice to have the ability to spread it around.”
Spreading it around and making the Bengals offense a well oiled machine is going to be the key to the team making a serious run in the AFC and overcoming the playoff drought they have had the past few seasons.
There’s plenty of time left in 2015 for the Bengals to continue to get better, but right now along with the Patriots, Cincinnati seems like the team to beat.
Another key – a consistent roster that hasn’t had any changes. It’s Marvin Lewis believing in his team and players, and the roster staying as is.
Since 2005, the Bengals are the ninth team to make it this far into the season without making changes to their Week 1 roster, according to Stats, LLC. The combined record for the nine teams through six games, including the Bengals, is 39-15.
If you don’t believe in the Bengals yet, get ready, your mind will be changed by early January.