If you've been listening to sports talk radio and/or watching the major sport networks on television, you would likely be hearing that the Bengals have officially arrived with last night's win over the Steelers. Though it was one victory against a divisional foe that has largely owned them over the years, some liken it to David beating Goliath and mark it as a power shift in the AFC North.
There is a lot of football left to be played by both teams, but Bengaldom can still savor the victory. Why? Because in this particular win against the Steelers, the Bengals decided to dust off the history books and rip a few pages out of them. You may have been hearing some of these already, but we are going to do a rundowm of them, regardless.
Giovani Bernard's Big Night:
The Bengals rookie running back not only introduced himself to households and fantasy footballers around the world on Monday, but also turned in one of the best performances ever by a Bengals rookie on Monday Night Football. His two touchdowns scored (one rushing, one receiving) was the best showing by a Cincinnati rookie on that particular stage since 1975. Not bad, rook.
The Embarrassment At Home Is Stalled:
Under Marvin Lewis, the Bengals have not had much success at all against the Steelers and have been inexplicably bad at home in Paul Brown Stadium. Monday night's win marked only the seventh time that Lewis has beat the Steelers (7-14 record overall) and only the second victory in front of the home crowd. oddly enough, Lewis' Bengals are 5-5 at Heinz Field and travel there later this season.
Tyler Eifert's Long Catch One Of Team's Best By A Tight End:
When the rookie Eifert snagged a pass from Andy Dalton and ran 61-yards with it, you knew it had to be one of the longer catches ever by a tight end. Jermaine Gresham caught a long touchdown pass of 55 yards last season, so Eifert's catch was the longest since Matt Schobel's 76-yarder back in 2004. You would have to go back to the mid-1980s with Rodney Holman to get other receptions by a Bengals tight end as long as Eifert's on Monday.
Bengals Force Steelers To Worst Start Under Mike Tomlin:
In what is a testament to the Steelers' success as a franchise, their loss to the Bengals marks two things for the black and yellow. First, it's their worst start in the Mike Tomlin era at 0-2, and it's the first time that they have lost two in a row under him.
Bengals' Primetime Dry Spell Versus Steelers:
As Josh noted on Tuesday, the Bengals haven't won on Monday Night Football since 2007 when they defeated the Ravens. As if that wasn't bad enough, the Bengals hadn't beaten the Steelers on the primetime platform since 1995, whether the game was telecast on ABC or ESPN. Couple that with Lewis' record that we mentioned above and we won't blame you if you happen to shudder.