It's probably been pretty difficult to be a Bengals fan for the past 10 years and even beyond as their seasons have just been filled with never-ending disappointment and unfulfilled promises of rebuilding. This has been especially true for the past 5 years where they never had a winning season. This duldrums reached an apex in 2019 where they went 2-14 losing their first 11 games. The only teams they defeated the entire season were also terrible: The New York Jets and the Cleveland Browns.
This is why I am so excited to see the Bengals finally do well and also to have made it to the playoffs as a number 3 seed. Also, they are just coming off of a win versus the number 2 ranked Kansas City Chiefs and that certainly was a surprise as they rallied in the 4th quarter for the win.
I am not a Bengals fan. I don't think I have ever even set foot in Ohio. I've driven through it a couple of times but I have no affiliation with the place. I also have a little bit of hatred for the place because of Ohio State University's football program. However, I don't like to see bad teams remain bad for very long stretches of time. Being an NFL fan in Ohio has been a tough road for the past decade or so and although I would have bet on the Browns being the first to change this, it looks like the Bengals have a real shot at glory this year.
They still have a really tough road ahead of them and I am just extremely hopeful that both they and Kansas City can win their first games so we can see a rematch since that particular game was so epic. There are a lot of holes in the Bengal's overall team because their defense is certainly nothing to get excited about and they rely heavily on offense and on Joe Burrow in particular.
Their defense started the season strong but now they are just slightly above the league average and ranked 18th overall by defensive metrics. There are a lot of factors at play here of course and it is difficult to quantify a defense but the Bengals are really going to have to step this up if they are going to have any chance in this thing.
At the end of the day, I don't follow the Bengals but I love a good story of a team that is able to turn things around after many years of obscurity and just being a disappointment to the residents of the city. It's been a long time since the people of Cincinnati have had much to look forward to in the NFL, and who knows? This could be their year.
Of course there is a bit of a "curse" on the Bengals and it will be a time for jubilation if they can manage to break it this year. Cincinnati hasn't made it out of the wild card playoff round since 1990 and between 2011 and 2015 they managed to lose in the first round 5 years in a row. They've also only ever been to the Super Bowl twice in 51 years and they lost both times.
Well now I just feel like I am jinxing them.