Geno Atkins and Carlos Dunlap gang tackled Colt McCoy
The Bengals are a young team, with just two players on the roster, thirty years of age or older. This youth movement in Cincinnati led to some inspired play and an excitement Bengals fans have not seen for some time. Too often over the last few years, even when the Bengals won the AFC North, the players appeared to be going through the motions, playing because they have to, not because they enjoy it. That was not the case on Sunday against the Browns.
The Bengals energy showed itself in intangibles. The defense gang tackled running backs and receivers, and pressured Browns' quarterback Colt McCoy the entire afternoon. Even when momentum had clearly shifted to the Cleveland, the Cincinnati defense played tough and overcame poor defensive field position to keep the Bengals in the game.
The offense and special teams units genuinely celebrated touchdowns and big kick returns. Even after Dalton’s departure, the team, following Cedric Benson’s example, played with a palpable passion.
This zeal will carry the young Cincinnati Bengals through difficult divisional games against Pittsburgh and Baltimore.