The Cincinnati Bengals will be trying to rewrite history Sunday, when they take on the Seattle Seahawks at Paul Brown Stadium. The Bengals will be attempting to match a franchise record. If Cincinnati defeats the visiting Seahawks, they will be 5-0 for the first time since 1988.
Coincidentally, that was the last time the Bengals were in the Super Bowl. They made the trip to Super Bowl XXIII and eventually lost to the 49ers. That year, Cincinnati raced from the gates with a 6-0 start. The Bengals matched their best start in 10 years when they beat the Kansas City Chiefs last Sunday. They overcame a record-setting day by kicker Cairo Santos. He connected on seven field goal attempts and was the only thorn in the Bengals side.
Left tackle Andrew Whitworth stated the mission plan of the Bengals, as reported by Fox Sports. Cincinnati is out to prove they deserve to be mentioned with the elite teams of the NFL.
“We started the season with a special intent, and that’s to be great. We’re not satisfied with being good anymore.”
The Bengals have managed to remain one of six unbeaten teams in the NFL. Two of those teams happen to be the New England Patriots and Denver Broncos. Those teams are led by future Hall of Fame quarterbacks who make playoff appearances and win. In order to rewrite history, the Bengals will also have to undo their history of a losing tradition in the playoffs.
Andy Dalton has been on fire for the Bengals. He has shed the image of a quarterback who can’t win the big game and is leading his team. His leadership quality has spread and has his teammates thinking like champions. A.J. Green, in a statement reported by the Cincinnati Enquirer, has embraced Dalton in his new leadership role.
“The quarterback is always the leader of the team – it comes with that territory. I think he’s accepting it well. We had a guy like ‘Whit’ to lead us these last four years but it’s time for our quarterback to take the next step and lead us. I think that’s what he’s doing. He’s doing a great job of it. We just gotta ride with him. He can’t do everything by himself. If we back him up, we get his back, I think we’ll be fine.”
That leadership quality is something Russell Wilson of the Seattle Seahawks has had for a while. Wilson has led Seattle to two consecutive Super Bowls and has helped the Hawks get primed for another run at the NFC title.
The Cincinnati Bengals have a shot at doing something special. But Wilson has faced adversity before. Rewriting history is what Wilson did in 2013. He got the Seahawks to the Super Bowl and won. Cincinnati can achieve 5-0, but they will have to defeat a savvy leader who has already done some history changing of his own.
The Bengals will have to play against a strong Seattle defense that has been the main cog behind the team’s turnaround. The combined victories against Chicago and Detroit yielded only 10 points scored against the defense. Their 17.8 points per game allowed is tied for third, while their 278.8 yards of total offense surrendered per game trails only Denver at 275.5.
If the Cincinnati defense applies constant pressure to the Seattle line, they’ll have a chance to put Wilson on the ground. Wilson suffered six sacks for the second time this year against the Lions, but the Seahawks still managed to come out of it with a slim victory.
The Cincinnati Bengals are a different team, so far this year.
The Bengals aren’t the same group that lost the wild-card game to the Colts. They didn’t have their big guns on offense and a healthy defense. Those hiccups have been settled and they might just be a team ready to rewrite history.
[Photos by Otto Gruele Jr. / Getty Images]