Sure, beating the Browns was great and for a week, we have a reason to smile and high-five each other because for once the Bengals didn't lose a game. Not that we will.
But yesterday, the Bengals beat the Browns not with their superstar receivers, they beat them on the ground. Benson, led by Chris Pressley, had 150 yards on 31 carries and Bernard Scott had an additional 40 on 8 carries. Jerome Simpson and Andre Caldwell entered the game in place of Chad Ochocinco and Terrell Owens and combined for 30 yards on 2 catches and 89 yards on 4 catches respectively. The future was the focus of yesterday, where we saw a return to Cincinnati's 2009 strategy--and guess what, we won.
But that was the Cleveland Browns. Granted, they destroyed the Saints and the Patriots, and so credit is given where credit is due, and the Cleveland Browns have had games where they looked absolutely phenomenal. However, they are not top five offensively or defensively. The San Diego Chargers are currently the league's best defense as well as second on offense and currently possess an 8-6 record. We face them in December as well, the best month of the season they play. This will be no cakewalk and this will be no Browns.
This begins the real test. The Bengals play a team with some of the best offense and defense in the league. The young players that shined yesterday will need to work a lot harder to shine this Sunday. The Bengals will need to do better than a single offensive touchdown to win. Carson Palmer, his young receivers, and the backs all need to step up. We shall see the true strength of this team this Sunday. If they can pull off a victory, maybe our future is not as dark as we foresee.