The Bengals will have a chance to change their fortunes. With Big Ben having to undergo surgery, reclaiming the AFC North is possible.
The Cincinnati Bengals are in a very bad spot. At 2-4, the team currently sits at third in the division. However, the hard part of the season may be coming to an end. The Bengals will face the Browns this week, followed by the Redskins, a bye week, the Giants, the Bills and the Ravens. Not only will Cincinnati have a winnable schedule in the next six weeks, the Steelers will be struggling to stay afloat without Big Ben.
Roethlisberger is one of the best quarterbacks in the league but his constant injuries leave the Steelers vulnerable every season. This year, Ben Roethlisberger has torn his meniscus and will be sidelined for at least 4-6 weeks. In that span, the Steelers will see the Patriots, a bye, the Ravens, Cowboys, Browns and Colts. Arguably, a much harder schedule than the one Cincinnati will face.
No one advocates for injuries, but when a player with such a big role like Roethlisberger’s goes down, other teams must capitalize. This team has to be Cincinnati if they still want a shot at making the playoffs and winning the division. There’s a chance that the Steelers could realistically go 2-3 or even 1-4 during this time span.
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Landry To The Rescue?
Landry Jones is no Roethlisberger and without Big Ben, Antonio Brown is practically useless in the passing game. We’ve seen it multiple times, AB just doesn’t perform in the passing game when Roethlisberger isn’t there. The Steelers are a very run heavy team without Number 7. Le’Veon Bell is one of the tops back in the league, but if some of these teams can keep him contained, the Steelers will be racking up losses.
In Cincinnati’s case, here’s the window. Week 7 against the Browns should be a win. It won’t be easy. Hue Jackson knows Cincinnati, Terrelle Pryor has something to prove and Cincinnati is very down on themselves right now. However, if the Bengals can manage to go 5-1 or maybe 4-2 in this stretch, Cincinnati will be back in the race.
It’s certainly harder said than done, but these are games the Bengals should win and need to win. Losing makes everything worse. Lately, there have been comments about firing coaches and benching players. But, as long as you win those things go away. Winning silences the critics. If Marvin Lewis wants to end his Bengals tenure the right way, it starts here. Take advantage of the misfortune that the Steelers have. If Cincinnati doesn’t, the Ravens will. With the Raiders playing strong this year, there may not be a spot for the Bengals late in the season.