Bengals Shedding Reputations Like Tackles

dave TempleContributor INovember 9, 2009

CINCINNATI - NOVEMBER 8: Cedric Benson #32 of the Cincinnati Bengals is tackled by Kelly Gregg #97 of the Baltimore Ravens at Paul Brown Stadium on November 8, 2009 in Cincinnati, Ohio.  (Photo by John Sommers II/Getty Images)
John Sommers II/Getty Images

The Bengals of Cincinnati are at a turning point which will last for the rest of the NFL season. The Teams biggest questions are beginning to be answered.

             First, the offensive line was a big question mark at the start of the season in that they were young and inexperienced. Answer : Andrew Whitworth and Bobbie Williams have emerged as valuable leadership with Mathis adding to the effort. The line has been clean and has some depth.

             Second, the running game had to get off to a great start. Answer: Cedric Benson looks to be rejuvenated in mind body and most importantly spirit. He has back to back 100 plus yard games against the Ravens. Note the line has done a lot to promote this by being an attacking line, something the Bengals had lacked in previous campaigns.

             Third, the defensive line, can it attack the pass and produce sacks? Answer: Early in the season Odom was a beast and again with injuries playing their part, Fanane, Tank Johnson, Geathers and company have a much improved attack. They have balanced the attack between aggressive and smart play by not overplaying the pressure and capitalizing the end result. These are things we haven't seen in Cincinnati since 1988-89 and I think this defense is superior to those Super Bowl Teams of both Bengals teams of the 80's.

             Finnally, The Quarterback Question: Carson Palmer, Pro bowl or injury bust?Answer: Look to the stat books. Carson has shaken off the rust and is back to performing like the top 5 Quarterback that he was back in 2005, with one major difference... He is playing smarter and using his legs as a potent weapon to add to his strong arm and natural abilities.

             The end result is "Watch out NFL , you are on notice... The Cincinnati Bengals are for real and will be prowling the front pages of ESPN, CBSSportsline, and many other dot coms before it is said and done. I also believe they mean to throw a wrench into the playoff prospective for at least the next three seasons. This is my take whats yours? email me at or leave a comment.