When a team wins the way the Cincinnati Bengals did Sunday, there’s no denying that they’re getting revved up for the playoffs. But when the team has two such wins in as many weeks, the talk can at times turn to mentions of sheer dominance. If the description of the performance is left to many of the Bengals players, they’d say they were “turnt up” for the playoff run.
The Bengals players have been teaching Hue Jackson and the other coaches what it means to get turnt up. If the Cleveland Browns game and the blowout of the Rams don’t explain the term, it’ll never be understood. In each of the past two games, the Bengals have allowed a grand total of 10 points while scoring 68. The Bengals seem to be locked into seek-and-destroy mode.
Grind time has truly taken a front seat to tinker-toy fun. With the playoffs looming around the corner, each game is taking on a new meaning.
“I made that clear. It’s time. All the fun stuff is over,” Jackson said, via ESPN. “It’s been a long season, but this is the grind part of the season. We understand how to do things right. We know what’s expected. We know who we’re playing, what time we’re playing. We know how to travel, we know how to go through the process to get ready for a game. There are no secrets. That’s just where we are. We’re the Bengals, baby, and we better get turnt.”
“We’ve got to be playing our best because everybody knows the team that gets hot at the end of the year usually ends up winning the Super Bowl,” quarterback Andy Dalton said.
Jeremy Hill knows what it means to get turnt up. He used the term as his motivation for last season. Hill has stressed that the Bengals will be facing teams at the end of the season with nothing to lose. Those will be the teams that will be amped up for the Bengals and ready to be spoilers for home field advantage and a bye week.
The job of Hue Jackson and the other coaches is to make sure that the Bengals stay focused on the end result. The season that starts after Week 17 is what really matters.
“This is when you practice better, play better, you prepare better. Everything becomes better,” Jackson explained, “because we know what’s at stake. That feeling of disappointment is around the corner. You can’t wait to get to the other side to start thinking about it. You have to deal with it now and talk about it now. And that’s real.”
Putting that edge of reality into the minds of the Bengals may be just what they need. The season is long and filled with distractions. But if they manage to stay turnt up and focused, the year will be one to remember.
[Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images]