Bengals should be considered legitimate contenders in 2017

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CINCINNATI, OH - JANUARY 1: Andy Dalton #14 of the Cincinnati Bengals runs the ball away from Matt Judon #91 of the Baltimore Ravens during the fourth quarter at Paul Brown Stadium on January 1, 2017 in Cincinnati, Ohio. Cincinnati defeated Baltimore 27-10. (Photo by John Grieshop/Getty Images)
CINCINNATI, OH - JANUARY 1: Andy Dalton #14 of the Cincinnati Bengals runs the ball away from Matt Judon #91 of the Baltimore Ravens during the fourth quarter at Paul Brown Stadium on January 1, 2017 in Cincinnati, Ohio. Cincinnati defeated Baltimore 27-10. (Photo by John Grieshop/Getty Images) /
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Bengals have to get mentally and physically tougher
(Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images) /

The roster has been set and it’s time to get real. When the Cincinnati Bengals meet the Baltimore Ravens on September 10, the truth will be known.

It’s that time of year. All the preseason games have been played and, hopefully, any injuries will be short-lived. Rookies have either found new teams or have been sent packing to find employment in their hometowns. With a little luck, some will be back after getting an emergency call. However, the Bengals shouldn’t have to be worried about the cuts made. Even though only four of the seven draft picks made the cut, there is enough talent on this current Bengals roster to pack a serious punch.

It would be so easy to look at the past two seasons and declare 2017 a lost cause. The nightmare that ended up as last year’s campaign, has left a stain on the minds of most Bengals fans. Finishing 6-9-1 was a punch in the gut, after coming so close the prior year. Yes, we all remember that fateful and haunting day. The pain and heartache are still fresh and the gaping wounds seem like they’ll never heal. But, as always, the time has come to put the past behind and concentrate on just what could (and should) transpire in 2017.

Simply put, this team has the potential to do some heavy damage in the AFC North. Of course, I’m a homer and tend to look at the Bengals through rose-colored shades. But, Cincinnati’s future is so bright, fans will need a pair of eclipse glasses to prevent retinal damage.

Finally, it’s time to stop sulking and get ready for a new year. Preconceived doubts are always a part of the deal, when rolling with the Bengals. But, there always comes a time when pure talent takes the wheel and drives the point home. This team has the talent.

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