The Bengals finally came together as a team last week and gave Cincinnati fans what they had been looking for all season long. The defense came together to punish Eli Manning and the Giants’ offensive efforts, allowing only 13 points from the defending Super Bowl Champs. The offense also played well and scored 31 points off of four Dalton touchdowns.
If Cincinnati can carry the momentum with them into the next two games, the team has a shot of becoming 6-5, placing themselves back in the hunt for the playoffs. Next week they face the struggling Kansas City Chiefs, followed by the Oakland Raiders that have allowed teams to get over 900 yards against their defense. If the Bengals can play like they did last week and Dalton keeps his turnovers in check, the season will begin to look up for the Bengals after many counted them out.
It got even sweeter for the men in stripes today. Though, no one is ever happy when a player goes down with an injury, there is nothing wrong with capitalizing on the players that left in their spot. On Monday Night Football against the Kansas City Chiefs, Pittsburgh quarterback Ben Roethlisberger left the game with a shoulder injury. Though, he does indeed have a sprained shoulder, what the tests showed was much worse.
Big Ben also suffered from a dislocated rib on the sack that ended the game for him. Doctors are concerned that the rib could cut into his aorta, causing internal bleeding and more serious complications. Roethlisberger told reporters that he has only been able to sleep just over four hours the last two nights due to the pain and he must wear a sling when moving around. The quarterback also said that he can move his arm, but sometimes when he does the rib pops out of place, causing him excruciating pain.
No one knows with certainty when Roethlisberger will be back in action for the team, leaving the Steelers’ season wide open. Leftwich is already scheduled to start next week against the Ravens and has a good chance of starting in their second meeting with Baltimore, as well. Pittsburgh’s schedule has them pitted against the Ravens two times in the next three weeks. It should be noted that the Steelers are 0-4 against Baltimore without Big Ben behind center.
This is the perfect time for an opportunistic Bengals team to play catch up in the AFC North Division. All but two of the remaining teams on their schedule currently have losing records. Those two teams with winning records are the Ravens and the Steelers. The next two games come against teams that have been horrible across the board, starting with Kansas City only having one win.
If they can capitalize on these matchups, there is a chance that the Steelers’ loss could be the Bengals’ gain. With their play last week, there is definitely a chance. I’m sure Cincinnati’s thoughts are with Roethlisberger, but our hearts are with Who Dey Nation and the Bengals.