Many pundits were willing to write off the Cincinnati Bengals after thier four-game losing streak in the middle of the season. Don’t look now, but the Bengals have won three in a row and find themselves on the cusp of the playoffs. Averaging 31 points per game against the New York Giants, Kansas City Chiefs and the Oakland Raiders, the Bengals are currently 6-5 and look to move ahead of the Pittsburgh Steelers in the coming weeks.
One of the factors which has led the Bengals turnaround has been the exceptional play of second-year QB Andy Dalton. Over the course of the last three weeks Dalton has passed for just 639 yards, but he has eliminated the turnovers, throwing for 9 touchdowns and no interceptions.
Next up for the Bengals, the San Diego Chargers. The Chargers appear to have given up on the season and have the 20th ranked pass defense. After San Diego, the Bengals will host the Dallas Cowboys, a very unpredictable team to get a handle on week in and week out. Cincinnati then hits the road to take on the Philadelphia Eagles, a team is disarray this season.
The Bengals then get one more game against the Pittsburgh Steelers in week 16. With the recent turnaround by the Bengals, this game will be very important. The Steelers offense is reeling without Ben Roethlisberger in the lineup and there are reports which suggest he might miss as many as six weeks with his shoulder,rib injury. Roethlisberger is scheduled to start some light throwing this week in order to test his range of motion.