Mental toughness helping the Bengals overcome adversity

Mark Zerof-USA TODAY Sports

The Cincinnati Bengals are 4-2 but could easily be 1-5 if not for their tough mental attitude that's refusing to concede.

Albert Breer with the NFL Network usually offers a collection of nuggets on Friday from around the league. This week he writes how tough the Cincinnati Bengals have become with a never give-up attitude.

"We're mentally stronger," Lewis said in his office Thursday. "They have that kind of resilience. But I'd say the season is more like an oval. There's a corner (to turn) every foot or so. That's the way I see it. It's a continual process you go through every week, and every week, there are new challenges. And I think the resilience and determination of the guys will help keep that mindset going forward."

Save for the week two win against the Steelers, each win this year has featured games that could have easily been a loss if this team weren't mentally strong enough to overcome the adversity. Cincinnati rebounded from a third-quarter deficit against the Green Bay Packers. New England was marching down the field before Adam Jones' interception late in the fourth quarter, along with an effective pass rush that stalled the Patriots final possession. Cincinnati secured a 24-10 lead early in the third quarter, but a vicious comeback from Buffalo sent the game into overtime. The defense, special teams, and offense all contributed for an eventual game-winning field goal.

And the refusal to concede a loss is coming from the players themselves.

"They're not afraid to hold each other accountable, which is a huge step, to pull a guy up and take him with you and not leave anybody behind, don't let anyone fester, don't let anyone worry about himself, keep it focused on the team," Lewis said. "And I think that's good. That's part of professional sports: To minimize the selfishness and maximize the selflessness."

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