CINCINNATI - Having not won a playoff game under the long-tenure of head coach Marvin Lewis, and stretching back even before that for a total of a 23-year drought, the Cincinnati Bengals are in need of a pick me up to get them over the postseason hump.
Some would say with the dwindling core of the Pittsburgh Steelers, the sophomore slump that may strike the Baltimore Ravens, the basement-dwelling Cleveland Browns, and the consistent roster that the Bengals have built on the past few years that this could be their time.
One CBS Sports columnist has taken that attitude one step further, and proclaimed that the Cincinnati Bengals will beat the Atlanta Falcons in the Super Bowl this year.
Senior NFL columnist Pete Prisco went through the entire NFL season for all 32 teams and wrote down score predictions for each game, through the postseason.
Prisco has the Bengals winning the AFC North, trudging through the playoffs as a Wild Card, first defeating the division rival Ravens (who Prisco put down as a split regular season series), then the Peyton Manning-led Denver Broncos, ultimately toppling the New England Patriots in the AFC Championship (who he also has the Bengals beating in Week 5) and squeaking by the Atlanta Falcons in the Super Bowl.
Sounds great, right Bengals fans? Trouble is, Prisco doesn't give much of an explanation as to why (read his "article" here http://www.cbssports.com/nfl/blog/pete-prisco/23148716/predicting-every-nfl-game-no-perfect-records-but-a-few-surprises).
Yes, the Bengals' second half of 2012 defense was tough to get by, and they've only bolstered it with the addition of some quick DBs and tough-guy James Harrison up front. But their offense remains what it was: A crapshoot, and it becomes harder and harder every game to throw to primary weapon AJ Green down-field as more and more teams find ways to cover him. Just looking at last year's results, you can see the disparity in points scored. One game it's an anemic 13 points, and another game against the same level of defense it's a 38-spot on the scoreboard. The potential is there; the consistency is lacking.
But as they say, defense wins championships, and hope springs eternal on the Ohio River.
Prisco flat out says he wrote the article mostly to get reaction, and sure enough, he has created quite a buzz in the Tri-State on social media outlets and otherwise.
And while Prisco admits that it is indeed a long season, a lot can happen, injuries can affect teams, etc., he stands by his final tally.
So what do you think? Can the Bengals win a Super Bowl this year? Leave a comment in the section below.