The Cincinnati Bengals got the signature win they’ve been looking for against the Pittsburgh Steelers on Monday Night Football.
The nationally televised game showed a Bengals team ready to take on any opponent. They overpowered the Steelers in every facet of play.
Andy Dalton shredded the Steelers secondary with over 250 yards and a touchdown. On the ground, BenJarvis Green-Ellis and rookie Giovanni Bernard combined for over 100 yards. Bernard scored his first career touchdown to give Cincinnati an early lead.
The Bengals defense held up its end of the bargain as well. Ben Roethlisberger was held to just over 200 yards passing. He threw a critical interception late that would have given Pittsburgh a chance to win.
The Steelers running game was non-existent for yet another week. Starter Felix Jones was held under 40 yards.
The Steelers did get the ball back with just under two minutes left. With no timeouts, Big Ben kept his calm. So did the Bengals.
The Bengals signature win should gain them respect around the league. Despite making the playoffs the last two seasons, they have long been considered a team that flounders in big games.
Marvin Lewis has been the Bengals head coach since 2003. In that span, he has led Cincinnati into the postseason four times. He is 0-4 in playoff games.
Monday night’s matchup may not have been a playoff game, but a nationally televised game against your biggest rival is a pretty major victory. Lewis should sleep easy tonight knowing he has the rest of the NFL scared.
Analysts like the Bengals too. The team is a sleeper pick to get to the Super Bowl. If it’s not Peyton Manning and the Broncos, who else could it be? Based on early season success, the Bengals might be it.
Do you think the Bengals got a signature win Monday night? Are they Super Bowl caliber?
[image via Wikimedia Commons]