ESPN did their weekly power rankings, and coming in at #11 were none other than the red-hot Bengals, winners of of six of their past seven games:
Over the past seven games, the Bengals’ defense has given up an average of 11.1 points and has held teams to one or no touchdowns six times (all wins).
QB Andy Dalton shared this after his Bengals beat Pittsburgh for the first time in four meetings since he became the franchise’s starting QB:
Marvin Lewis said everybody has talked about how we haven’t beat the Steelers since we have been here. It feels good to get a win especially coming down to the last play. We were able to convert and get us a chance to get a field goal. It’s a tough place to play here. For us to come here and get a win in this place is huge. Not only get a win but get us into the playoffs. It feels really good to have all that and to be able to achieve it.
WR A.J. Green has been the most acclaimed Bengal the past two seasons, but even he knows the defense is why the Bengals are becoming consistent winners:
This defense played lights out. They’ve been playing like this the last [few] weeks. Defense wins championships. If we put up some points, they’re going to hold them.
Head coach Marvin Lewis is glad to have gotten the Bengals back-to-back playoff berths for the first time in in 30 years, but he wants to get two more monkeys of the franchises’ back in winning a playoff game and eventually the Super Bowl:
I know that’s the whole media line, but it’s not been 30 years in my mind. I can’t worry about that. It’s a huge thing for the city and the organization, because now we’ve erased two of the monkeys (off our backs). We’ve got two more to erase, and we’re going to work hard these next six weeks to erase those, too.