Rarely are wins against an AFC North opponent (especially the Steelers) a thing of beauty. While I thought Monday night had the chance for a Bengals blowout, I should have known better. Nonetheless, any win versus the Steelers is pretty in and of itself. Watching the end of the game on Monday night, I felt like I was watching the changing of the guard – witnessing the end of one era and the beginning of another.
It’s cliché, but it’s the truth: “ A win is a win,” and they don’t have a column in the standings for ugly wins or pretty losses. The Bengals won. Period. They beat a team that has always had a mental edge on them. They beat a Steelers team at home for only the 2nd time in the last 12 tries. They finally won in prime time (9-20 on MNF prior to the game).
Yes, the Steelers were an inferior team, but they are as dangerous a team as any. The Steelers needed that win and the Bengals took it from them. Think about this, Mike Tomlin has never lost a game when having a losing record…until Monday night.
Sep 16, 2013; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Cincinnati Bengals running back Giovani Bernard (25) runs the ball during the fourth quarter against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Paul Brown Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports
Bengals fans were screaming all of week 1 and all of the first half Monday night to give this guy the ball more. Monday night, Gio showed us (and hopefully the coaches) why. With 2 TDs, Gio now has 60 yards on 12 carries and 35 yards on 2 catches. In other words, Gio is averaging nearly 7 yards per touch. I like the one-two punch of BJGE and Gio, but Gio has to touch the ball 15+ times per game. When he is in the game, the defense has to account for him in the run game and the pass game, something BJGE does not command.