Bengals: Is This The Year Of The Tiger?

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Nov 29, 2015; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton (14) looks on prior to the game against the St. Louis Rams at Paul Brown Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports
Nov 29, 2015; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton (14) looks on prior to the game against the St. Louis Rams at Paul Brown Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports /
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Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports
Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports /

The Burfict Factor 

It may sound like the perfect title for an upcoming action movie, but it’s not. The Bengals will be without Vontaze Burfict again. After delivering a concussion-causing blow to Antonio Brown, Burfict was suspended. He’ll be absent from the first three games of the season. Within that suspension lies another key to the Bengals’ motivation (that word is stalking the page).

While Burfict was recovering from microfracture surgery, the Bengals were forced to face facts. How good was the defense without their emotional leader? How good was the entire team? The Bengals went 6-0, with Burfict healing. As he eased back into the starting 11, the defensive unit became a beast. It wasn’t totally about Burfict’s talent. It was also about confidence.

The Burfict Factor is about how the Bengals will view themselves, over the course of the season. Yes. Burfict is a throwback beast. That’s followed by another yes. The Cincinnati Bengals have the total package needed, to bring a huge piece of silver back to The Queen City. Let’s say it all together class. All the Bengals need is focus and motivation.

Believe it or not, if the Men in Stripes play the entire season like Burfict is gone, they’ll do some serious damage. Playing with the intensity they displayed earlier in 2015 could be interesting. Bengals fans may find themselves watching the quest for an undefeated season.

must read: Should The Bengals Give Leon Hall Another Look?

The theme for 2016? It should definitely be Unfinished Business. The Bengals have miles to go before they sleep…but tigers don’t sleep on an empty stomach. This may be the year of the Monkey, but Tigers are clever too.

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