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Dalton and his offensive mates will solve the Ravens' relentless D.
The Bengals are 3-5 against AFC North opponents since 2011.
And all of those three wins have come by way of the Cleveland Browns.
So why would I possibly call for anything different in their three remaining games against the Steelers (twice) and Ravens?
Because there comes a point in time where the underdogs say enough is enough. It’s just that time for Andy Dalton and the Bengals.
Despite his two turnovers against the Ravens in Week 1, the game was already lost due to the inabilities of the defense to counteract the opposition’s offensive progress. Dalton’s defensive compatriots put him in a 27-13 hole against a fierce Baltimore D.
There would not be any coming back against Ray Lewis and Co.
Taking all games together, however, three of the five Bengals’ divisional losses amounted to eight points or less. Dalton kept his boys within striking distance more often than not.
Plus, divisional games are still dogfights. Cleveland Browns or not, posting a 3-0 record against any NFL opponent is a respectable achievement.
Moving forward, Dalton will lead his team to two consecutive victories over Miami and Cleveland before a big-time showdown with the Steelers in Week 7. He’ll then orchestrate a win over an already suspect 2-3 Steelers team that will push them even further in the dregs of the division.
At 5-1, Dalton will have the utmost confidence throughout the remainder of the season. He will help his team break even at 3-3 in the division and lead it into an AFC wild-card berth.
Predictions are often deemed as unfounded conjecture due to the unpredictability of professional sports.
That being said, Dalton has the physical skills and internal fortitude to destroy the odds and make his Bengals team a divisional favorite for the future.
That future exists in 2012.
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