Could the Cincinnati Bengals become the new gold standard in the AFC?

AP Photo/Butch Dill

Could the Cincinnati Bengals become the new gold standard in the AFC?

Football

Could the Cincinnati Bengals become the new gold standard in the AFC?

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AP Photo/Butch Dill

As the Cincinnati Bengals prepare to face the Kansas City Chiefs at Paycor Stadium, they prepare to fight for more than just playoff seeding. Zac Taylor and his squad are playing for something maybe equally important, respect. That may not make sense for many football fans, however, for Who Dey Nation, respect has been found much harder to come by, for many years.

Yes, the Bengals have garnered more praise than in prior years from a national perspective. However, despite being the defending AFC champions, still, not everyone is a believer. Granted, Cincinnati got off to a rough start early this season, but are now deeply entrenched in the playoff picture and are in a dead heat for the AFC North. So, that begs the question, is this matchup a must-win game?

Not necessarily, however, it can go a long way. This being said, you could say the same for the Chiefs. Kansas City lost two games in one month last season and wants to prove they are still the top dog in the conference. The Bengals, despite last season’s success, find themselves in a position where they are still trying to prove themselves as being more than a fluke.

With that, no one in the NFL is hotter and playing better football than the orange and black. Now with quality wins over the likes of the New York Jets, Miami Dolphins, and most recently the Tennessee Titans among others, the Bengals couldn’t have chosen a better time to play their best football. Finishing the season strong will go a long way toward cementing a legacy for a franchise working hard to build a memorable one.

Of course, this is going to be much easier said than done. After playing the Chiefs, the Buffalo Bills still loom around the corner as well as rematches with the Cleveland Browns who have had their number of late, as well as the Baltimore Ravens. However, for the Bengals, these are not obstacles, but rather an opportunity. If quarterback Joe Burrow and his teammates have proven one thing, it is they are ready to seize the moment and kick down new doors.

That journey continues, but certainly doesn’t end against Kansas City. For Cincinnati, the Chiefs are another stop on the road to real relevance. The Bengals’ time is now to prove that the AFC now runs through the Queen City.

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