3 things we learned from Bengals divisional round win vs. Titans

Vonn Bell, Cincinnati Bengals (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Vonn Bell, Cincinnati Bengals (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images) /
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Cincinnati Bengals
Cincinnati Bengals (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images) /

Bengals can win the AFC

I wrote recently that while I thought the Bengals were ready to break the “curse” and defeat the Titans, I balked at the notion of going to Kansas City and winning the conference.

I am walking back on that prediction.

The last two weeks versus the Raiders and Titans have shown me a level of grit and determination, as well as a level of game planning that I wasn’t sure they yet had. The game plan devised by Lou Anarumo against the Titans was masterful. The ability to compensate for the loss of Ogunjobi, as well as confuse Ryan Tannehill, helped keep a game that saw the offensive line leak like a sieve, winnable.

On the offensive side of the ball, while Burrow has continued his masterful play and Chase has proven he is top 5 at his position league-wide, key pieces like C.J. Uzomah and Tee Higgins have stepped up to make clutch plays.

The special teams, especially Evan McPherson, have been key as well. Coverage on punts and kickoffs has been tight, Chris Evans offered a needed boost returning kicks versus the Titans, and Kevin Huber has consistently kept the Bengals in plus field position.

The Bengals have started playing solid in all phases at exactly the right time of the year. Very often the hot, healthy teams go deep in the postseason, and the Who Deys are exactly that.

Perhaps I am going too far out on a limb, but the week 17 game against the Chiefs hopefully laid the blueprint on how to beat them. Factor in the overtime marathon Kansas City played against the Bills Sunday night, and with any luck, we face an emotionally spent, tired Kansas City Chief team at Arrowhead Sunday.

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These are my three major takeaways from the stirring, last-second victory against the Titans. Enjoy the week, Bengal faithful. The ride has been exhilarating, and hopefully, we are all still riding this time next week!