clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Dre Kirkpatrick compares Bengals to undefeated Alabama team

Dre Kirkpatrick is using to winning big, and he likes what he's seen from this year's Bengals squad during their 5-0 start.

Greg McWilliams/Getty Images

It's far too early to talk about the Bengals going 16-0 this season, but they are one of the NFL's last remaining undefeated teams.

After the Falcons lost Thursday night, only the Broncos, Panthers, Patriots and Bengals remain as teams without a loss this year. At 5-0 with a matchup with the 3-2 Bills on Sunday, many expect Cincinnati to be 6-0 heading into their Week 7 bye.

In college, Bengals cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick was part of two Alabama teams that won BCS National Championships, including a Crimson Tide team that went 14-0 in 2009. Though it's hard to see the Bengals making it to the playoffs undefeated, he does see some similarities between the two squads, as he told ESPN's Coley Harvey.

"To me, it's the same feeling," Kirkpatrick said. "It's all about how much we want it."

It's hard to compare a college team to an NFL team, given the playing field between 32 NFL teams is much smaller than the 300-plus college teams there are. Even in the ultra-competitive SEC, Alabama had cupcake games against FIU, North Texas and Chattanooga.

The level between Bama and those teams was far larger than the difference between the best and worst NFL team in any season. Still, Kirkpatrick sees something special in this Bengals team in the same way he saw greatness brewing in that '09 Bama team.

"Like I'm telling everybody, this is a different team," Kirkpatrick said. "It's not like the other teams. I don't know what it is. So many people can say a lot of different things about what it is, but I just know it's a different team. It's a different environment. We've bonded. And the bond has grown over the four years I've been here. I just see something great happening now."

It shouldn't be much of a surprise that this has looked like one of the best Bengals teams in the Marvin Lewis era. As Kirkpatrick alluded to, it's a team full of quality players who have been together for many years now. What they lack talent-wise in some areas has been made up with a level of chemistry and continuity few teams have.

Health is also a major factor in Cincinnati's emergence this season. Having Geno Atkins fully recovered from his 2013 ACL tear has made this defense one that can go toe-to-toe with most teams. Having guys like Tyler Eifert, A.J. Green, and Marvin Jones healthy has made the offense as explosive as it's ever been.

All of this has made this a Bengals team that may be capable of ending the season in the same manner as Kirkpatrick did twice in college: Holding a championship trophy.