There might be some more bad blood brewing in the AFC North. While most media members clamor over the Ravens and Steelers rivalry, the Bengals are now officially a perennial playoff club and are fighting for the respect that both Baltimore and Pittsburgh have rightfully earned over the past decade-plus. Think I'm exaggerating? Have a look at Bengals defensive end Carlos Dunlap's quote from Thursday about his feelings on the Ravens.
Baltimore defensive coordinator Dean Pees did a candid Thursday interview and WNST picked up the soundbytes. Pees spoke about the Bengals offensive system's predictability:
Back-handed compliment, much? Still, when you look at it objectively, there might be some truth to Pees' statement. Three of the Bengals' five losses have come from top-15 NFL defenses and all three are Cincinnati's AFC North foes (the Bengals are the highest-rated defense in the division at No.5). There could be trends from the Bengals' offense that the opposition is picking up on--especially on the road where all three of those aforementioned losses happened.
Pees continued with a compliment (we think):
This comparison, aside from the discipline issues and 7-8 record, actually makes sense. Detriot has Matthew Stafford, Calvin Johnson, Reggie Bush, Nate Burleson, Joique Bell, Brandon Pettigrew and Joseph Fauria. Cincinnati's doppelgangers to the Motor City's group include Andy Dalton, A.J. Green, Giovani Bernard, Marvin Jones, BenJarvus Green-Ellis, Jermaine Gresham and Tyler Eifert. Both systems also thrive on getting the ball out of the quarterback's hands quickly and getting multiple receivers involved.
Even if the Bengals players and fans want to take issue with Pees' comments, the fact remains that he has won all of the important matchups between the two clubs in the Dalton era. The lone Bengals win came in a waste-game at the end of last season. In the other three matchups, Dalton has one touchdown and four interceptions.