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Marvin Jones believes Bengals chasing something great

Though this group has yet to win a playoff game, these Bengals believe they can win several en route to what they hope is a Super Bowl run.

Mark Zerof-USA TODAY Sports

Any time a team is 6-0 and holding a two and a half game lead in their division, there's going to be a little peeking ahead to the playoffs.

That's especially true of a Bengals team that's already been to the postseason for four straight years while winning 40 games over that span. It's hard not to be excited about being in the playoffs and fighting for the right to move on for the possibility of playing in the Super Bowl.

As Bengals receiver Marvin Jones told Joe Kay of the Associated Press, a 6-0 start is nice, but it's nowhere close to their ultimate goal.

"It's great that we're 6-0, but we're chasing something great and we know it," Jones said.

Even though we're more than two months from the playoffs, there's nothing wrong with this Bengals team talking about chasing greatness. While hoisting the Lombardi Trophy is what Jones is alluding to, he and the rest of his teammates know the chase is a season-long ordeal that requires them to keep winning.

"What we've done is win every chance we've had, and there's a lot more of that we're going to have to do going forward to put ourselves in position to do what we want," Kay reported offensive tackle Andrew Whitworth saying. "And that's to make the playoffs and have the opportunity to go to the Super Bowl."

The level of confidence this team currently has may be the highest it's ever been in the Andy Dalton era. That's because Dalton has never played as good as he is this season. While this is a team sport, everyone knows the quarterback needs to play great to be a Super Bowl contender.

That's why defensive end Carlos Dunlap admits seeing Dalton play so well breathes confidence into his teammates on both sides of the ball.

"It's just going out there with confidence," Dunlap said. "I know you all have noticed with Andy. He's on top of everything."

One man's confidence is another man's fear. As offensive coordinator Hue Jackson said, Dalton's improved play has made defensive coordinators less willingly to blitz him and instead drop more guys into coverage in hopes of slowing him down.

"It's been happening quite a bit here lately," offensive coordinator Hue Jackson said. "That's a sign of respect."

What's most amazing about this team's fast start is the one guy who many believed would be their best player has gotten off to a slow start. Through six games, running back Jeremy Hill has just 232 yards after gaining nearly 1,000 yards during the final nine games of his rookie season. Jackson doesn't make much of it and expects his star back to get going as the season wears on.

"I know the player he can be, so I'm going to keep pushing him to get there," Jackson said. "I mean, we need him. He's going to be a huge part down the stretch run once we get back here."

With a win against the Steelers in Week 8, this Bengals team would mark a franchise-best 7-0 start to a season. Even if they lose, they'll still be in good position the rest of the season to win the division and possibly host multiple playoff games in Paul Brown Stadium. The Bengals' remaining opponents sport a 25-33 overall record, including five games against the Texans, Browns (twice), 49ers, and Ravens, who are a combined 9-25.

It's not crazy to see this team winning 11, 12 or even 13 games and earning one of, if not the top seed in the AFC. These Bengals have put themselves in great position to reach their goals, and that continues this Sunday in Pittsburgh.