Cincinnati Bengals: Bigger goals, bigger achievements; underdogs rule

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Jan 1, 2017; Cincinnati, OH, USA; The Cincinnati Bengals take the field against the Baltimore Ravens at Paul Brown Stadium. The Bengals won 27-10. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports
Jan 1, 2017; Cincinnati, OH, USA; The Cincinnati Bengals take the field against the Baltimore Ravens at Paul Brown Stadium. The Bengals won 27-10. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports /
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Should the Bengals goal be to win a playoff game or a Super Bowl? Cincy hopes to prove the media wrong and achieve goals as underdogs this season.

This season feels like something special to some, others see a team in rebuild. Yes it’s true Cincy has lost some talent the past two off-seasons but its young talent is hungry and ready to prove their worth. To achieve their goals this season it’s gonna take special things from rookies which doesn’t happen too often for the Bengals.

This year should be different for many reasons. It’s a contract year for Marvin Lewis, they also missed the playoffs and being picked in the top ten. Can the Bengals turn things around fast? It’s happened in recent memory and resulted in a Super Bowl appearance. That’s right. The Atlanta Falcons were a bad team. In two short seasons, they made it to LI.

Now, I’m not saying the Bengals are gonna be winning a Super Bowl in the near future. But, that playoff win might be closer than some think. Recently, former Bengal Domata Peko commented about his old team while praising his new team. That comment was about Cincy’s locker room. It’s about winning a playoff game. Yet, in Denver, it’s about winning Super Bowls.

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To many fans (myself included), this is very disturbing but also understandable. I can understand how frustrating it is to lose so many first round playoff games. After awhile, you become obsessed with it. So many losses cause doubt to set in and confidence fades. Every year, a team’s goal should be winning the Super Bowl. Why sell yourself short?

Media Doubt

It seems even after the great additions landed in the draft and in free agency, the media doesn’t have high hopes for the Bengals. With one of the easiest schedules and players being healthy again, there’s only one piece I believe Cincy needs to get back to the playoffs: O-line. Last year, the offensive line was okay at best And that was before the loss of the two best players ( Andrew Whitworth, Kevin Zeitler) on the unit. This point is pretty much the focus of the negative expectations for the 2017 season. And the fact tackles Cedric Ogbuehi and Jake Fisher have shown little progression since joining the team in 2015. But, the thinking going into the pick of both tackles was to prepare for life after Whitworth and Zeitler.

I think the silver lining in this whole situation is that Ogbuehi is getting his first healthy offseason, after being injured his first two. Also, he has stated he wants to be what the Bengals saw in him and he will work hard to get there. So far, he’s shown he’s serious. He went out to L.A. to train with Jay Glazer and Whitworth at Glazer’s camp. Normally, participants stay a few days. But, Ogbuehi decided to stay around a month. Hopefully, this offseason helps improve his game. Cincy also brought back Andre Smith to fill in at guard, which nobody truly knows how he’ll do at this new position. The season may depend on the play of the line.

Underdogs

Honestly, I find it quite annoying “most” media outlets believe the Bengals will have a mediocre season. This should fuel the Bengals to achieve their goals. With an influx of young talent, players coming off injuries and players poised to step up, this might turn out to be a year Cincy can prove the “haters” wrong.

Next: Are You A Lifer?

The Bengals are in win now mode. You only have so long with your core team staying intact and you have to take advantage. This team needs to start thinking bigger and winning a playoff game will come. This year I hope the team can stay healthy, have fun, and let go of the past. It’s time to believe in themselves and play to their ability in big games.

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