The questions aren’t about football when it comes to Bengals-Steelers. When asked about the matchup on Monday, Marvin Lewis could only say one thing.
“New year, new team, new season,” Lewis repeated to four straight questions heard on ESPN1530 in Cincinnati, knowing they would revolve around composure. After the fourth, he jokingly said, “We’re on to Pittsburgh,” mimicking Bill Bellicheck’s “We’re on to Cincinnati,” from last season.
New year. New team. New season. Let that resonate. After a terrible end to last season, is that what the Bengal’s needed? Absolutely!
The Bengals are no longer a “young team.” In fact, they’re one of the most veteran teams:
In a defense that had it’s fair share of struggles against the Jets, two players no one expected to contribute much contributed a lot. I’ve already wrote about the contributions of Margus Hunt, but Josh Shaw showed how his hard work is paying off and played very well in the secondary. He even sealed the game with a game winning interception. New year.
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It’s evident that A.J. Green is poised to take this receiving core on his back. Brandon LaFell and Tyler Boyd will gladly ride along. LaFell showed signs of speed and hands that we didn’t see in the preseason.
No Marvin Jones? No problem. Tyler Boyd doesn’t look like a rookie out there. He was conscious enough to immediately put the ball down after a catch with time running down in the first half of the Jet’s game to allow time for kicking unit to tack on a crucial 3-points. “I felt like I belong out there,” Boyd said after the game. He does. New team.
Let’s face it. The Bengals stole a game last Sunday. They didn’t play their best, and they still won. That’s what the great teams do. At the end of the day, they find a way to win. That’s what is going to make this a “new season.”