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mesaSteeler
11-10-2009, 10:34 PM
Bengals adopting bruising AFC North style
http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/steelers/s_652366.html#
By The Associated Press

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

CINCINNATI Turns out the Bengals are pretty good copycats.

In only half a season, they've changed their identity. Instead of trying to win games with fancy passing, they've adopted the ways of the Steelers and Ravens, who have won championships with solid defenses and dependable running games.

The Bengals (6-2) are beating them at their own game.

"I think Baltimore and Pittsburgh have set the tone for the AFC North and were the ones to come up with the formula, which is good solid defense, run the football and control the field position game," quarterback Carson Palmer said. "I think that is something we have turned into."

A 17-7 victory Sunday over the Ravens kept the Bengals in first place, heading for a showdown next Sunday in Pittsburgh. The winner of that game will control a division that has a reputation for bruising defense and brawny running backs.

These Bengals are starting to fit the profile.

The defense has allowed only 17 points in the last two games. With Cedric Benson leading the way, the running game has piled up 361 yards in wins over Chicago and Baltimore. Sprinkle in some well-placed passes by Palmer, and it's been a familiar combination for fans in other AFC North cities.

In Cincinnati, they haven't had this for years.

The Bengals last reached the Super Bowl during the 1988 season, when Boomer Esiason joked that he had become a glorified triple-option quarterback because he spent most of his time handing off to Ickey Woods and James Brooks. Cincinnati led the league in rushing that year and was 15th in defense.

When they drafted Palmer in 2003, the Bengals had a reputation as a finesse team. They broke their drought of 14 straight years without a winning record by going to the playoffs in 2005, when Palmer threw 32 touchdown passes and the Bengals overwhelmed teams with their passing game.

Didn't work for long. They haven't had a winning record since.

"We used to be an air-it-out, explosive offense, and when you play in Pittsburgh, Cleveland, Baltimore and Cincinnati, you get to those December games and you can't throw the ball 40 times," Palmer said. "You have to be able to run the ball. We are at a good point now."

After the offense finished last in the league in 2008, the Bengals revamped the offense to feature Benson. They loaded up on running plays that feature extra blockers. The players noticed the coaches' commitment to it.

"They said at the beginning of the year that we want to be a run-first, throw-second football team," center Kyle Cook said. "You've got to be able to run the ball. You can't rely on sitting back there and hoping guys are going to get open."

Benson has four 100-yard games and ranks second in the NFL to Tennessee's Chris Johnson with 837 yards. Benson has carried 198 times, a league high.

The last time the Bengals finished a season in the Top 10 in rushing was 2000, when Akili Smith struggled to complete throws and Corey Dillon's running provided the bulk of the yards. After the win over Baltimore, Cincinnati ranked ninth overall in rushing.

"They've been doing a great job," defensive lineman Domata Peko said Monday. "Cedric has been running amazingly. I'm pretty sure he's going to be in the Pro Bowl. And when you have Carson healthy, he can do those things."

The defense is coming off solid games against Chicago and Baltimore. It was ranked 14th overall, but second against the run, following the win on Sunday. Cincinnati hasn't finished in the Top 10 in defense since 2001, when it was ninth overall.

Coach Marvin Lewis coordinated the Ravens defense that led it to a Super Bowl championship during the 2000 season. The Bengals defense has played two of its best games this season against Baltimore, allowing only 14 points.

Although it was impressive, Lewis tried to play down the importance of the win that kept Cincinnati in first place.

"Everybody seemed to make it a bigger game than it was," Lewis said on Monday. "It was another game in our division, and that's what it was no more, no less. For whatever reason, people thought we were playing the '68 Packers, and we weren't. It was another game in our division, and that's what it's all about."

Steelboy84
11-10-2009, 11:22 PM
Bengals are gonna find out what a REAL bruising is come Sunday.

Steelboy84
11-10-2009, 11:29 PM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nrXNwwOlZ30&feature=related

Beautiful.

Get the stretchers ready baby!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OPbraVljIrc

:thumbsup:

Galax Steeler
11-11-2009, 06:00 AM
I bet Keith Rivers will be looking over his shoulder for Hines Ward.:rofl:

GoSlash27
11-11-2009, 06:36 AM
That's cool. Now if the Browns would just get their act together we'd be the most feared division in the NFL :D

steelerdave1969
11-11-2009, 07:04 AM
Bengals are gonna find out what a REAL bruising is come Sunday.

Man, this is a game that I have been knawing at the bits over for the last month. Its time to get it on people!!!!!!
I dont know why I have been so jacked up for this matchup more than any other matchup so far, but I know that we gave these bums the game last meeting and we were without the Best Safety in the business last time and we know that Palmer doesnt do well vs his old teammate at USC.
Am I Ready?.... You Bet You Arse I'm Ready!!!!!

:tt02:

HometownGal
11-11-2009, 08:38 AM
As I said in another thread - be afraid Bungles. Be VERY afraid.

You caught us with our pants down in our last matchup and we handed that game to you on a silver platter. The team on the field now doesn't come close to resembling the team you faced back in late September. We aren't Baltimore and we aren't da Bears. We're the Pittsburgh Steelers and we're going to be ready for your striped azzes come Sunday at 1:00 PM. Bank it.

stillers4me
11-11-2009, 08:39 AM
The Bengals fans I was around yesterday weren't quite as lippy as they were last week. :chuckle:

X-Terminator
11-11-2009, 09:53 AM
The Bengals fans I was around yesterday weren't quite as lippy as they were last week. :chuckle:

That's because they know their team is about to be taken out to the woodshed for a beating. :chuckle:

stlrtruck
11-11-2009, 10:07 AM
How the hell can the bungals get so much praise for being copycats when they are up and down from year to year? A true copycat would figure it out and keep it going. The bungals have neither the talent, heart, desire, or personnel to maintain such a high standard nor consistent level of play. Yes they've done it for half a season so far.

But now you've got a pissed of team in the Steelers and you're coming to our house. The problem with copycats is you can always find the weakness a lot sooner than you can in the original.

Sorry bungals this is our division - you just live in it!

stillers4me
11-11-2009, 10:08 AM
Sorry bungals this is our division - you just live in it!

A-freakin'-men! :tt03:

Edman
11-11-2009, 11:01 AM
Baltimore is not the same as they used to be. They have a much stronger offense, but their Defense has taken an immense step back this year. I wouldn't say they fit the physicial mantra they had last year.

Yeah, they beat Denver handily, but as we've all seen Monday Night, turns out Denver's isn't as cut out as they used to be.

We're not the Bears, and we're not Baltimore. We're the Steelers and we're not messing around anymore.

Steelboy84
11-11-2009, 02:07 PM
Man, this is a game that I have been knawing at the bits over for the last month. Its time to get it on people!!!!!!
I dont know why I have been so jacked up for this matchup more than any other matchup so far, but I know that we gave these bums the game last meeting and we were without the Best Safety in the business last time and we know that Palmer doesnt do well vs his old teammate at USC.
Am I Ready?.... You Bet You Arse I'm Ready!!!!!

:tt02:


:applaudit::tt02: :tt03: :drink: :thumbsup:

Psyychoward86
11-11-2009, 06:05 PM
that's cute, the bengals are trying to be us

Sharkissle29
11-11-2009, 06:14 PM
bengals are as physical as us? get a clue

BengalMAN85
11-11-2009, 09:53 PM
WHO DEY!!!!!!!! Were the new AFC North leaders!

tony hipchest
11-11-2009, 09:55 PM
of what? ka ka? poo-poo?

the afc north is the steelers division. always has been. always will be.

stillers4me
11-11-2009, 10:18 PM
WHO DEY!!!!!!!! Were the new AFC North leaders!

Yipee! And who won the Superbowl the last time you won the division? Enjoy your t-shirts. :coffee: