Cincinnati Bengals: Don’t Stop Believin’

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Aug 17, 2013; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Cincinnati Bengals running back Giovani Bernard (25) celebrates with center Kyle Cook (64) after scoring a touchdown in the first quarter of a preseason game against the Tennessee Titans at Paul Brown Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

What, you’re going to tell me this 80’s anthem is a cliché rock ballad for all of sports teams entering the postseason? Pssh, next you’re going to tell me the Bengals aren’t the only team to use “Welcome to the Jungle” before kick-offs.

Having spent my childhood growing up in the 90’s and as a Bengals fan, R.E.M.’s “Everybody Hurts” was very fitting for the decade. But “sometimes,” was ALL OF THE TIME. Not this year. I’m here to tell you why you should still have “Cat Scratch Fever.”

Ok, enough with the classic rock references. As they are the past, so are the Bengals playoff woes. The Bengals are going to make the playoffs. We’ve all gone through the scenarios. Too much has to happen for them NOT to make the playoffs. So, let’s examine why this year’s team is going to advance in the playoffs.

The 2013 Bengals have leadership. On the offensive side, Andy Dalton may not be as vocal as Tom Brady or as demanding as Peyton Manning, but what he has shown this year is resilience. The confidence that he has displayed in close games is enough for his teammates to believe in him and themselves when times get gritty.

The defensive side is a team of leaders. Throw a dart at the starting eleven. That is your leader. Throw another one. That is your leader. And so on. Not to mention, the leader of all leaders and helm of the defense, Mike Zimmer.

Jay Gruden is starting to figure out his own offense. That may sound silly, but unfortunately Gruden hasn’t been able to adequately assess the weapons he’s surrounded with until recently. I pled in my first article to give Gio the ball more. He has, and they were putting up 40 points a week until Sunday night’s debacle.