A day after the Cincinnati Bengals clinched their second AFC North title in five years, players in the locker room are happy, but made it clear that they are not satisfied and want more obviously.
With the Miami Dolphins falling to the Buffalo Bills in Buffalo yesterday, the same time Cincinnati were done dismantling the Minnesota Vikings, they heard that there were going back to the playoffs for the third straight season. Never in the history of the Bengals a team has gone to the postseason in back-to-back-to-back years.
Well the news of more than a playoff berth got better. Around seven o’clock last night, after players left Paul Brown Stadium they heard that the New England Patriots beat down the Baltimore Ravens, meaning Cincinnati clinched the north title, and are good position for the No. 3 seed in the AFC playoffs.
For a team that has been in the city of Houston in back-to back years for the playoffs, now they know they won’t have to go back there, and finally in the Dalton-Green era get to host a home playoff game.
The thing I liked about this team, is that they didn’t go all out with a champagne celebration and stuff after clinching a playoff berth and the north. It was relatively calmness in the Bengals locker room.
Bengals wide receiver Andrew Hawkins said it the best. “We’ve been here before, so we’re not going to get too high about this because we still have a lot of work to do.” Hawkins said. “We set our goal and we have a lot of unfinished business.”
Well some of that unfinished business is first finishing the home regular season schedule undefeated. The Bengals host the Ravens this Sunday in the regular season finale. A win also can improve Cincinnati’s playoff seeding. Right now they are the No. 3 seed in the AFC, but if the Patriots lose to the Bills, then the Bengals will move up to the No. 2 seed, giving them a first round bye. The last order of business is to give this city a playoff victory, which they haven’t had since 1990.
This Bengals team has the right mind-set heading into the postseason, they are not content with only a division crown and a home playoff game. They want more.