Dec 1, 2013; San Diego, CA, USA; Cincinnati Bengals linebacker Vontaze Burfict (55) and San Diego Chargers tight end Antonio Gates (85) trade words during the Bengals 17-10 win over the Chargers at Qualcomm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Stan Liu-USA TODAY Sports
A Matchup with the Chargers – The Chargers are certainly no pushovers, but, the Steelers were clearly the most dangerous possible 6 seed going into week 17. The Chargers have an experienced QB, some good offensive weapons and have won 4 in a row after their week 13 loss to the Bengals, but they are not playing as well as the Steelers were.
Plus, the Chargers are a warm weather opponent that has to come 3 time zones over to play in cold weather. I’ll take that.
The Jungle – 66 years ago Paul Brown brought pro football to Cincinnati. Prior to 2013, only once had the Bengals gone 8-0 at home. Sunday, they made it a twice. The last time the Bengals went 8-0 at home?
1988. The last time the Bengals went to the Super Bowl. The Jungle is back and the Bengals have at least one more game in the Jungle.
Ability to Over Come Adversity – 6 minutes into the game the Bengals had already thrown 2 interceptions, but the defense held the Ravens to just 2 FGs and the offense, specifically Dalton, never looked shaken.
They came right back with 17 unanswered points and never seemed to lose confidence. You would likely have to go back to 1988 to find a Bengals team mentally tough enough to overcome 4 interceptions and a 10 yard punt and still win by 17.