Nov 17, 2013; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Cincinnati Bengals safety Tony Dye (44) recovers a blocked punt and scores a touchdown during the first half against the Cleveland Browns at Paul Brown Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports
5. Special Teams
The offense and defense alone provide enough encouragement that this team could advance in the playoffs, but its Special Team play has come up crucial in many instances of the Bengals victories. If it weren’t for the special teams this past week, do the Bengals even win? Do they go into their Bye Week with a season sweep at the hands of the Browns not assured that they will be in first place the next time they take the field? If it isn’t a return here from Tate, one here from Jones, and a couple of key blocked punts, where are the Bengals?
6. Easiest Remaining Strength of Schedule in the AFC (Tied with Steelers)
A fresh set of legs against inferior opponents. What the Bengals cannot do is play down to the level of their competition. It has been suggested that they have done that a lot in 2013. The remaining games against Pittsburgh and Baltimore are guaranteed to at least be competitive. However, in the Bengals rearview mirror are the Packers, Lions, Patriots and Jets. All teams with playoff aspirations that the Bengals have already defeated.