Sep 29, 2013; Cleveland, OH, USA; Cincinnati Bengals outside linebacker Vontaze Burfict (55) before the game against the Cleveland Browns at FirstEnergy Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports
The Cincinnati Bengals, losers of their last two games, have some emotional leaders on both offense and defense. Vontaze Burfict plays with severe passion and wears his emotions on his sleeves (maybe a little too much at times). While he appears cool and collected most of the time, Andy Dalton has shown emotional outbursts at times. These same emotions can work both positives and negatives.
In home games, with the crowd behind you, emotions can propel your team out of a bad position. But on the road, when the crowd is against you, those same emotions can hold you back and keep you from climbing out of a point deficit. Emotional momentum has killed the Bengals in their road games multiple times this season.
This most recent example is of course against the Baltimore Ravens. After doing a good job of forcing a three and out on the Ravens first series of the game, the Bengals punted the ball right back to them and subsequently gave up a 46 yard defensive pass interference call to put the Raven inside the 5-yard line. They lost emotional momentum very early in that game and while they managed to claw their way back to tie the game with no time remaining on the clock, had they controlled their emotions earlier, it may have never happened.
The Bengals need to regroup and not let the emotional-letdown of two-straight overtime losses affect them now if they want to beat the Cleveland Browns on Sunday and re-take control of the AFC North.