After a terrible offensive performance on Sunday against the San Francisco 49ers, Rex Ryan is giving his team the next two days off to do some “soul searching”. This comes at a time, when the Cincinnati Bengals seem to be more in touch with their souls than ever before. The team knows exactly who they are and they are winning games on Sunday because of it.
The Bengals are not a flashy team. They are not made up of Brady’s, Brees’s, or Rodgers’. You won’t find any futuristic name abbreviations or television commercial stars on the roster. ESPN and the NFL network barely speak of them. Maybe it is because they don’t give them much to talk about. Their record isn’t the best in the NFL, and many football fans still scoff at the sound of their name. Even their own fans are just waiting for them to become the Bengals of old.
These aren’t the same old Bengals though. What we are watching here in Cincinnati is special. They aren’t flashy because they don’t have to be. They make plays when plays need to be made. They are becoming known for adding a small dash of wow when the play on the field dictates the need for it, but not every down. Their leading man isn’t a Super Bowl winning quarterback, but a second year, red headed, 24 year old with a desire to win.
Last year Andy Dalton backed his way in to a Pro Bowl appearance as a rookie. Now this season he is sporting a better passer rating than, arguably, the best passers of the game. He ranks in the 5th spot on an NFL list of all 32 starting quarterbacks with an overall passer rating of 103.2. That same list places Brady at 6th place, Rodgers at 12th, and Brees at 19th. He is quietly climbing the charts of the elite in just his second year. His weapons are definitely aiding his cause.