The Monday Touchdown: Bye Week Special

CINCINNATI, OH - OCTOBER 16: Andy Dalton #14 of the Cincinnati Bengals throws a pass during the NFL game against the Indianapolis Colts at Paul Brown Stadium on October 16, 2011 in Cincinnati, Ohio. The Bengals won 27-17. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

It was a nice and relaxing lazy and somewhat boring Sunday. I hate it when the Bengals are on a bye week but at the same time, it's nice to sit back and chill out and watch some teams play that I usually don't get a chance to watch. However, just because the Bengals didn't play on Sunday doesn't mean that I'm not going to do a Monday Touchdown article today. 

Here are seven thoughts I have about the Bengals after watching other games on Sunday.

No. 1: The Bengals Will Win on Sunday If Dalton Plays Well

That kind of sounds like an obvious statement, doesn't it? After watching parts of the Seahawks-Browns game (which happened to be the most boring game in the history of all games everywhere), I've come to the conclusion that the Seahawks offense just isn't too terribly outstanding. Granted neither Tarvaris Jackson nor Marshawn Lynch played against the Browns but if they do suit up against the Bengals on Sunday, I'd feel comfortable with the Bengals defense's ability to do its job.

What I'm not comfortable with is the Bengals running game against the Seahawks' 10th-ranked run defense in Seattle. Even if Cedric Benson was playing I'd still be worried. The Bengals running game hasn't really amounted to much and I have a feeling that on Sunday the Bengals will win or lose based on Dalton's performance.

No. 2: The Titans Aren't Much Without Chris Johnson

The week after the Seahawks game, the Bengals travel to Nashville to play the Titans. After watching the Texans-Titans game yesterday, it was obvious that the Titans aren't as scary on the field as they are on paper. Losing Kenny Britt for the season hurt them but what is also hurting them is the absolutely terrible play of running back Chris Johnson.

I don't know if losing out on conditioning has hurt him this much or if he's filling his uniform pants with all of his extra money, but he looks slow and only a shade of his former self. This would have been a matchup that scared me heading into the season but unless Johnson breaks out in Week 8 against the Colts, which is possible, I'm not going to be too terrible concerned about him.

No. 3: Things Would Have Been Different in Denver Game if Tebow Played

It was fun to watch Tim Tebow playing against the Miami Dolphins, especially in end when he led the offense to score 15 points to tie the game and head to overtime. Tebow might be good down the line but against one of the worst defenses in the NFL, he didn't look really good until the end.

I know that Kyle Orton isn't necessarily a Drew Brees or Peyton Manning -- he's not -- but I do think he might be a better option for the Broncos than Tebow. Nothing against Tim, but Orton has had success in the past. Maybe Tebow will look better as the season goes on. What I do think is that if Tebow put in that performance against the Bengals in Week 2, the Bengals would be going to Seattle with a 5-1 record.

No. 4: I Don't Want to Get Too Far Ahead of Myself......

but I'm going to go ahead and pick the Bengals to beat the Pittsburgh Steelers in Week 9.

More on that in a couple weeks.

No. 5: Baltimore

Every team goes through phases. Right now the Pittsburgh Steelers are good but they also look a little old and slower than they have in the past (See: No. 4). Their offensive line is also terrible. The Browns are still rebuilding and even though the Bengals are also rebuilding, they've obviously gotten off to a better start. It looks like the Baltimore Ravens are the team to beat in the AFC North now. They're defense is playing as good as ever and they look good at running the ball and at passing.

I think it's time to say that the Steelers reign over the AFC North is on its last leg.

No. 6: Speaking of Baltimore

Last night's Sunday Night Football game between the Colts and Saints was fun, if you like completely one-sided blowouts. If that's the kind of game you like, watch tonight's Monday Night Football game against the Ravens and Jaguars.

Seriously, who makes up the schedule?

Extra Point: If the Bengals Go At Least 1-1 Through the Next Two Games....

The Bengals are on the road in Seattle and then Nashville through the next two weeks. If they win at least one of those games, I fully expect the next couple home games to sell out.

Winning is the way that teams get fans to go to games and so far the Bengals have been pretty convincing. 

A 4-2 record and the Carson Palmer trade has to have taken all the wind out of the sails of those Bengals "fans" that pessimistically hope for the team to fail. A home sellout game on TV will be a welcome change after seven straight blacked out games. 

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