Cincinnati Bengals: A Statement Game Is Necessary vs. the Kansas City Chiefs

Sean ODonnellContributor IIINovember 14, 2012

CINCINNATI, OH - NOVEMBER 11:  Andy Dalton #14 of the Cincinnati Bengals celebrates following 31-13 win in the NFL game against the New York Giants  at Paul Brown Stadium on November 11, 2012 in Cincinnati, Ohio.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Andy Lyons/Getty Images

The Cincinnati Bengals are coming off their biggest win this season against the New York Giants.

Not only are the Giants the defending Super Bowl champions, but they came into Cincinnati with a 6-3 record.

The Bengals, then at 3-5, were huge underdogs against a team that had been very solid, thus far.

It was already clear that the Bengals’ coaching staff had made adjustments during the bye week and had a great outing against the Denver Broncos, even though it resulted in a loss.

Everything seemed to click this past Sunday when the underdog Bengals out-performed the Giants in every aspect of the game.

Cincinnati could begin to roll here, as five of their remaining seven games are against teams with worse than .500 records.

Also, news broke that the Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger had suffered a rare rib injury that is capable of rupturing his aorta.  Needless to say, Ben may not see any more action this season.

Since Pittsburgh sits atop the AFC Wildcard race and their franchise quarterback out, it opens the door for many teams, like Cincinnati, to take advantage.

There is new light for Cincinnati now and it will be important for the franchise to keep playing solid fundamental football in all phases of the game.

They can not afford to simply play to their opponents’ level, which they have been criticized for doing in the past.

If Cincinnati plays the same type of football this coming Sunday as they did against the Giants, they are capable of absolutely demolishing the inept Kansas City Chiefs.

The Chiefs currently stand at 1-8 and have only briefly led in a game this season (last week against Pittsburgh). Kansas City is ranked 30th in the league in scoring offense, as they have only been producing 16.2 points per game on average.

The Chiefs have also been horrendous in the turnover department as they currently stand with a -20 turnover ratio. Most of that is due to Matt Cassel’s 12 interceptions and very inconsistent play at the quarterback position this season.

With the way that the Bengals defense has been playing lately, it will be very easy to game plan for the Chiefs.

If they can stop Kansas City’s 4th ranked rushing offense led by Jamaal Charles and force Cassel to throw more than he would like, the Bengals can simply take advantage of errant passes and force turnovers.

On the offensive side of the ball, Cincinnati’s offensive line has been great lately.

The Giants pass rush, which is credited for 25 sacks on the season, did not get to Andy Dalton once last week.

The Chiefs defense has only brought the opposing quarterback to the ground 15 times this season.

If Dalton is given time to throw the ball as he was last week, he could easily end up with one of his biggest games this season.

Also, if the Bengals are going to find their running game this season, this would be the week to do so as the Chiefs are allowing 4.4 yards per rush to opposing running backs.

Cincinnati is a very hot team right now after demoralizing the Giants last week. It is important to keep up that same level of intensity against a weaker team.

The Bengals can not afford to just play for a win here.

A statement must be made to fans, pundits and the NFL that this is a team that should not be taken lightly and aims to make a run into the playoffs.

Head coach Marvin Lewis has taken a brutal amount of criticism this season and in seasons past for these types of games. It is time for the coaching staff to show that they are ready to compete at the next level.

Even though this is not a marquee game, it could mark a turning point for this Cincinnati team.

There is a reason why the Bengals are not given any amount of credibility when heading into a new season.

The Bengals of old would allow a let-down game or just squeak out a win. This is the time to move forward and show some dominance in the NFL.


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