Bengals Can’t Win With Sportsmanship

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Sep 18, 2016; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; The Cincinnati Bengals offense lines up against the Pittsburgh Steelers defense during the second quarter at Heinz Field. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 18, 2016; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; The Cincinnati Bengals offense lines up against the Pittsburgh Steelers defense during the second quarter at Heinz Field. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports /
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Following a disappointing loss to the Steelers, it is clear the Bengals can't win with good sportsmanship.
Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports /

How Bad Do You Want It?

The AFC North has become a battleground where legends are made and legacies are forged.  Players like Ray Lewis, James Harrison, and even Joe Flacco have shined in AFC North battles inside and outside the playoffs.  For Cincinnati to get over being a step-child to the Steelers, they must take the AFC North more serious.

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Playoffs or not, an AFC North battle comes down to heart and passion.  Bengals players, particularly on defense, must decide how bad they want to win the AFC North. Lewis, Mike Tomlin, and John Harbaugh have been in the AFC North long enough that there are no longer many surprises.  Even Hue Jackson in Cleveland is a known commodity in this Division.  The difference in winning and losing inside the AFC North comes down to the passion teams bring to divisional games.

"How Bad Do the Bengals Want It? It is unfortunate this question has to be asked."

The Bengals saw the Week 2 matchup with the Steelers as just another game.  What’s worse, in fear of the referees, the Bengals went out of their way to be nice to Pittsburgh.

Again, no one wants to see the Bengals act like a street gang headhunting for their latest victim.  What fans do want to see is a team who understands the seriousness of a Steelers game, regardless of what week it is.  Similarly, when the Bengals play the Browns or Ravens there is a certain level of passion that is expected.

Any teams first goal is to win their division and therefore have a good playoff position.  This last week, the Bengals appeared unaware that a Week 2 divisional win means the same as a week 16 divisional win.

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