After two playoff years in a row the Bengals are still viewed as a "one and done" type team and not at the level of the elite that can contend for a Super Bowl berth or AFC Championship game.
A lot of that is they seem to lay an egg every time they get some national exposure.
Two playoff losses to the Texans.
Opener last year - smoked by the Ravens
First game against Pittsburgh - blew a lead and just did not show up in the second half
Although they beat Pittsburgh to get into the playoffs - it was more of a sense of relief and surprise after the missed field goals and Ben R interception that seemed to give them the game than a "we have arrived" moment. Marvin Lewis admitting that he blew it going for a long field goal did not help the team psyche.
Although it was nice to win the final against B'more - it was really more of a glorified preseason game with no playoff implications.
So in 2013 Cincy has chance to make a statement and set a tone for the season early - MNF against a Pittsburgh team that has lost a lot due to salary cap - and seems ripe to slide some more this year.
Do you think Cincy will rise to the occasion and stomp on the Steelers?