Bengals News

Cincinnati Bengals: 4 surprises in the AFC North

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CHARLOTTE, NC - SEPTEMBER 23: C.J. Uzomah #87 of the Cincinnati Bengals celebrates a touchdown against the Carolina Panthers in the second quarter during their game at Bank of America Stadium on September 23, 2018 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)
CHARLOTTE, NC - SEPTEMBER 23: C.J. Uzomah #87 of the Cincinnati Bengals celebrates a touchdown against the Carolina Panthers in the second quarter during their game at Bank of America Stadium on September 23, 2018 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images) /
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NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA – DECEMBER 23: JuJu Smith-Schuster #19 of the Pittsburgh Steelers reacts during the first half against the New Orleans Saints at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on December 23, 2018 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA – DECEMBER 23: JuJu Smith-Schuster #19 of the Pittsburgh Steelers reacts during the first half against the New Orleans Saints at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on December 23, 2018 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images) /

If you look for a definition of dysfunction, you might find a team photo and highlights of the 2018 Pittsburgh Steelers. Head coach Mike Tomlin and quarterback Ben Roethlisberger are breathing much easier as malcontents like Le’Veon Bell and Antonio Brown are elsewhere these days.

That in and of itself is the best news fans could have hoped for after a season of discontent and angst in the Steel City. Gone are the head games and Kardashian like atmosphere. Football again is the only topic in Pittsburgh, as Tomlin is in position to right the ship and get the Steelers back to the top of the AFC North.

It’s a timely situation for Big Ben. Roethlisberger, who is on the other side of his career, has an opportunity in the wake of personnel issues that were too big of a distraction to be overlooked. With something of a clean slate, 2019 could be big, especially after a season where he threw for better than 5,000 yards and 34 touchdowns.

Fans in Pittsburgh can look for a big season from Roethlisberger as well as from receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster. With the long shadow of AB gone, the receiver has the big stage to himself and will prove the single greatest factor as the Steelers return to the top of the AFC North.

Pittsburgh is back on top at 13-3.

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