I have never taken Andy Dalton seriously. He has consistently made horrible throws in big situations and I always thought he could never get over that hump. Marvin Lewis does not help, as he is 0-6 in the playoffs. 0-6! Seriously. This guy is as unstable as they come when the bright lights turn on. You can see how some people would be skeptical as to whether the Bengals are actually playoff contenders this year instead of the pretenders they have been for the past decade. All that being said, the answer is yes.
The Benglas are legit contenders!
I never thought I would write this but the evidence cannot be overlooked. Time to take the Bengals seriously as they just beat Seattle this weekend in OT. Seattle is one of the leagues best defenses no matter how overrated I think they are. Before I get into Andy Dalton, the defense is legit. A D Line led by Geno Atkins will always be a good D Line, factor in Carlos Dunlap and they are a great D Line.
They have been missing their best LB in Vontaze Burfict who has been on the PUP and should return soon. Even without him, Vincent Rey, Rey Maualuga, AJ Hawk and Emmanuel Lamur have held the fort well. Their secondary is also very good, led by the infamous Adam "Pacman" Jones.
They are not quite the defense of the Broncos, the Pats or other competition, but their offense is miles ahead at this point. Andy Dalton has looked like a top 5 QB so far this year, mainly because of the weapons around him. AJ Green, Tyler Eifert, Marvin Jones, Gio Bernard and Jeremy Hill are all legit talents. It really is a shame the Pats don't get to face the Bengals in the regular season, but if they can finally get over that hump they would certainly be an interesting matchup in the playoffs if they keep this up all year. I will be keeping tabs on Cincinnati throughout the year as they have definitely surpassed the lowly Colts as a serious threat for the overwhelming favorite New England Patriots.
P.S. The Pats are actually not going to lose a game this year
By Jack Journeay