The Cincinnati Bengals have turned the corner and become a perennial playoff fixture. But, do they have what it takes to become a dynasty?
The month of January can be the most exhilarating or depressing for football fans. Bengals faithful had become used to the sight of the Orange and Black in the postseason. But, the 2016 campaign was a sheer nightmare. Draft picks were injured. Starters succumbed to nicks and bruises and the end result was obvious. The Bengals would be sitting at home for the playoffs.
There was a glimmer of hope when Cincinnati faced Pittsburgh in Week 15. The slim chance for a postseason berth was still alive. They gave fans a first half jolt and led the Steelers 20-9 at the break. But, it wasn’t meant to be. The Bengals lost 24-20 and the five-year mini-dynasty came to an end.
If the Bengals are ever going to be mentioned in the same conversations as New England, San Francisco or any of the teams with Super Bowl clout, they have to change a few things. The bare bones are in place. But, the overall approach has to be tweaked. They have managed to compete and be relevant. Hats off to Marvin Lewis and Duke Tobin. Unfortunately, it goes beyond just competing. The Bengals have to change the current culture and stay on course for the future. Building a dynasty isn’t easy…but it’s achievable.