Jan 5, 2013; Houston, TX, USA; Cincinnati Bengals defensive tackle Geno Atkins (97) walks off the field after a game against the Houston Texans of the AFC Wild Card playoff game at Reliant Stadium. The Texans defeated the Bengals 19-13. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports
Putting everything together, the draft, free agency, the continuity of the coaching staff, several players in contract years and the Bengals organization understanding the expectation that only making the playoffs is no longer acceptable, this is shaping up to be the perfect storm of what fans have wanted for years; A chance to hoist the Lombardi Trophy. The road to Super Bowl XLVIII will be bumpy and at times will go off road, but there is no reason not to think this road doesn’t go through the AFC North. Also there is no reason to think the Bengals can’t win the AFC North, host their first playoff game at home since 2009, and win that elusive playoff game for the first time since 1990.
All it takes is getting to the playoffs, which the Bengals have done successfully the past two years, and getting that one win may be all they need to catch fire and propel themselves into the greatest game of the year, the Super Bowl.