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Bengals back to Super Bowl form? As Joe Burrow lauds O-line, here’s how Cincy’s playoff odds have soared

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What a difference in a week. This time last week, the Cincinnati Bengals were up 2-0 after disappointing losses to Pittsburgh and Dallas. On Friday morning, the Bengals woke up 2-2 after beating the Jets last Sunday and the previously undefeated Dolphins on Thursday night.

The events of the past week have increased the chances of the Bengalis to repeat the AFC title. According to CBS Sports data specialist Steven Oh, their projected win total for the season has increased from 7.9 to 8.5. The team’s chances of winning the division increased from 9% to 12.6%. Those odds will rise to 24.1% if the Bengals can defeat the Ravens in the fifth week after their mini farewell week.

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Cincinnati’s playoff chances rose from 26.5% to 36.6% after Thursday night’s win. The Bengals have a 51.8% chance of making the playoffs if they can beat Baltimore next week to break the .500 mark for the first time this season. The Bengals’ odds of winning the AFC, which rose from 2.8% to 4.2% after Thursday’s win, will increase to 6.5% after beating Baltimore next Sunday.

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A Super Bowl win, which the Bengals have yet to experience as a franchise, also looks more likely after Thursday night’s win. The Bengals’ odds rose from 1.3% to 2.1% on Thursday night and will rise to 3.2% if they beat the Ravens, the Cincinnati team that won last season.

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Though rightfully overshadowed by Tua Tagovailoa’s dire situation, the Bengals’ performance on Thursday night was their best collective effort of the 2022 season to date. Joe Burrow threw for 287 yards and scored twice for five scoring shots. He didn’t throw an interception for the third consecutive game.

The biggest takeaway from Burrow’s performance was the fact that he was only fired once after being fired 13 times during the first two games of the season. The offensive line, which underwent an overhaul during the off-season, has only allowed three sacks in the Bengals’ current winning streak.

“These guys work really hard to get that kind of game,” Burrow said of his offensive line after the game. “I am so proud of these guys for the work they have done. They endured a lot of heat in the first two weeks but these guys are getting better and better and like I said the defense today was amazing. how it’s going to move forward because these guys put in the effort. We have a great coach who understands the players up front and we have nasty guys up front who want to get better and want to do a great job… And so the fact that them had a game that was exciting.”

The Bengals’ offense was complemented by a defense that recorded two interceptions (both by defenseman Vaughn Bell) while Miami had just 2 of 10 third losses. The second interception, which came as Cincinnati was defending a 20–15 lead, set Cincinnati’s game-tying scoreline with 1:52 left.

“These guys are incredible,” Barrow said of the defense. “They just keep playing when we need them and stop when we need them and give us the ball back when we might not be hitting our fullest… When you have such great defense it gives you a lot of confidence. that you’ll always be in the game.”

All three rounds of the Bengals team received positive reviews from the largest home crowd in franchise history. After years of little to cheer for, the Cincinnati fanbase made itself felt Thursday night, helping their team play closer to the level that won the AFC title eight months ago.

“Every time you play a night game at home, you know the energy is always a little different,” Burrow said. “I don’t know if I can say it was like a playoff game – they get pretty intense – but the energy was breathtaking.

Burrow confirmed the fact that the season is a marathon, not a sprint. While they certainly enjoyed the win as well as the mini farewell week, Barrow and his teammates are looking at things in the right light.

“We still have a lot of football ahead of us,” he said. “Those last two wins don’t matter if you go out and stink for the rest of the year. So we’ll get back to training, figure out where we need to get better, make our corrections, and move on.”



Source: www.cbssports.com

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