Found December 31, 2012 on WhoDeyFans:
This season is easily divided into two chapters, split at the bye week. The first was awful and better left forgotten, marred by ineffectiveness and missed opportunities. Fortunately, the second chapter has featured what would seem to be a completely different. And that is the team that will be making the trip to Houston in a few days. I’ve learned several things about this team as I’ve watched them over the past two months. Here are some of them. Feel free to add to the list. The defense can make life difficult on any team. We saw signs of it beginning against the Broncos, and they just kept building each week. They held more potent offenses like Dallas and Pittsburgh (who scored at least 20 points in each of their final six games except against the Bengals) to well below average and totally dominated the poorer offenses they faced. [That is very good news as they prepare to face a struggling Houston offense.] The offense is only as good as the protection that the offensive line provides. The line looked good when they faced more meager defenses, but they have looked meager against the better defensive lines that they have seen over the past four weeks. Dalton’s level of play has corresponded completely. Offensive line coach Paul Alexander has been getting praise for finding a guy like Trevor Robinson amongst all of the CFAs after the draft, but his line unit has to step up its play if the team hopes to break its 22 year playoff-win drought. [That's bad news as they prepare to face J.J. Watt.] Kevin Huber is a difference-maker. The guy flips the field as easily as Shaun White flips tricks on a snowboard. He set a new franchise record for average punt distance by a comfortable margin this year. And unlike Mike Nugent, he has no need to fear not being with the team in 2013. Andy Dalton is still a work in progress. And that is okay. Good quarterbacks often don’t find their full potential until their fourth or fifth season. Take Matt Ryan as an example, who is in his fifth season and has just broken into the top 10 this year. Dalton still needs some polishing, but he has shown enough to believe that he can be one of the better QBs in the league in a couple more years and can keep the Bengals competitive for a long time. The front office has some tough decisions facing them over the next few years. Making back-to-back playoffs is a direct result of the strong drafts that the team has had recently. But paying all of the talent they’ve found as rookie contracts begin to expire is not going to be easy. It won’t be this year, but soon we could see the team have to let go of guys we like a lot because they just can’t sign everyone and not bust the salary cap. As long as the team continues to draft well, being a source for free agent (instead of a destination as in years past) will actually be a good thing. (Could Marvin Lewis perhaps continue his streak of home run drafts as the team’s General Manager?) This team is finally built for sustained success. Hallelujah!

Bengals win meaningless game vs. Ravens, look ahead to Houston

Both the Cincinnati Bengals and Baltimore Ravens rested starters in this matchup that meant little to both teams. The Bengals were already locked in as the 6th-seed wild-card team and the Ravens already clinched the AFC North title. At the end of the day, the Bengals learned they’d be traveling to Houston, while Baltimore will host the Indianapolis Colts to see the return of...

Bengals try to break playoff futility in Houston

The Bengals are taking the NFL's longest streak of playoff futility back to the scene of their latest postseason loss, hoping they're ready for another significant breakthrough. Cincinnati (10-6) opens the postseason on Saturday at Houston (12-4), where the young Bengals imploded for a 31-10 loss in the first round last year. Quarterback Andy Dalton was a rookie then and...

2013 NFL Regular Season Schedule: Cincinnati Bengals

The 2012 NFL regular season is in the books. While 12 teams are looking forward to post-season play, 20 other NFL teams around the league are looking ahead to the start of free agency, the NFL Draft and trying to reach the playoffs in 2013. The Cincinnati Bengals are heading towards post-season play this year, but we can still look ahead to the Bengals 2013 regular season schedule...

Things Fall Into Place Nicely For Bengals

Well, so much for having to deal with playing at New England in the first round of the NFL playoffs.And no one is saying playing at Houston is easy -- the Bengals know that as well as anyone after getting waxed by the Texans in the opening round of the 2011 postseason. However, the Patriots are a better team in my opinion and I think it's a good thing for the Bengals that they...

Not the same game this time

Last year the Bengals were happy to make the playoffs. This year they want to make a splash in the post season. On the surface it looks the same. The Bengals face the Houston Texans in Houston in the first playoff game on wildcard weekend. That is where the similarities end. Last season the Bengals limped into the playoffs. They had a fast start to the season but then failed to...

Bengals rest stars in win over Ravens

CINCINNATI (AP) -- Carlos Dunlap returned an interception 14 yards for a touchdown in the fourth quarter Sunday, sending the Cincinnati Bengals to a 23-17 victory over the Baltimore Ravens in a game that didn't much matter to either playoff-bound team. The Ravens (10-6) had already clinched their second straight AFC North title, putting them in line to host a game next weekend...

Bengals tie it up

It’s a tied game in Cincinnati. On their latest offensive possession, Baltimore was pushed back to their own end zone. Cincinnati took advantage. Punter Sam Koch was only able to punt the ball out to the Ravens’ 40-yard line. Andy Dalton hit Marvin Jones for his first-career touchdown reception. The Bengals and Ravens are tied 7-7 as this game goes to halftime.

Brown gives Bengals lead in third quarter

The Ravens are trailing the Bengals midway through the third quarter. Cincinnati has had excellent field position aided by good punting by Kevin Huber. Baltimore’s offense has sputtered with Tyrod Taylor running the show, but it means very little. Josh Brown has kicked the Bengals into a 10-7 lead.

Bengals manage to skate by Ravens

Joe Flacco went to the bench after only two series. Andy Dalton left at halftime. With little at stake, the Ravens and Bengals gave their regular-season finale more of a preseason feel. Carlos Dunlap returned an interception 14 yards for a touchdown in the fourth quarter Sunday, sending the Cincinnati Bengals to a 23-17 victory over the Baltimore Ravens in a game that didn't...

Regulars sit out much of Bengals' win over Ravens

CINCINNATI -- The Cincinnati Bengals knew heading into Sunday's game against Baltimore that no matter what they did, it wouldn't change the fact they would go to the postseason as the AFC's sixth seed. After beating the Ravens 23-17 at Paul Brown Stadium, the Bengals will carry the momentum of seven wins in their last eight games into their first-round playoff matchup...
Bengals News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.