Despite Cincinnati’s offensive struggles, the team is still 2-1 overall and that’s good enough for a respectable No. 12 ranking from the folks at ESPN. Pittsburgh is 3-0 and is sitting fat and happy at No. 1. Especially considering the Steelers have made their fast start without franchise quarterback Ben Roethlisberger.
Since I’m embedded amongst the enemy in Pittsburgh, I can report that the entire town is abuzz with the Steelers’ progress. But let’s take a minute to consider their first three games. Pittsburgh beat a good, but not great Atlanta team in overtime. They won on the road in Tennessee (a solid win for sure), and they beat a very young Buccaneers team in Tampa. Pittsburgh has had a strong start, but the Steelers are far from unbeatable.
And don’t be surprised if Pittsburgh hits a roadblock after the bye week and the vaunted return of their star quarterback. Starting October 24, the Steelers face three straight road games (at Miami, at New Orleans, at Cincinnati), culminating with a Monday Nighter in the Jungle. It’s possible Pittsburgh could lose all three.
So the Bengals should just focus on fixing their offense and continuing to win games however they can. Pittsburgh could stumble before arriving in Cincinnati in November. And the Bengals could knock them back a bit further, perhaps taking control of the AFC North.
The season is still mighty young. And in the NFL, things can change quickly.