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Bengals Week 7 Mailbag: 16-0, what's up with Burfict, Dalton haters lurking

Could Vontaze Burfict return soon? Who's more dangerous, Hill or Gio? Could Dalton haters be waiting in the wings for a mistake to occur?

Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

The Bengals' hot start and the anticipated return of Vontaze Burfict has Bengals fans thinking could 16-0 be a possibility? We take a look at that and much more leading into Steelers week.

Thanks for the question, Deon! In any sport, you try to win every game, so in theory, you are always "shooting" for an undefeated record, but I don't think that is ever the goal. Don't get me wrong, I'm sure the Bengals would love to go undefeated. Their goals are winning the division, getting home field advantage and winning the Super Bowl. If they go 16-0, great, but I would gladly take 10 or 11 wins and a Super Bowl over 16 wins and no Super Bowl.

Going into the season, the Bengals had the second toughest schedule in the NFL (behind only the Steelers), so to be talking about an undefeated season after six weeks sounds crazy, but I see what you are saying. Taking a look at their remaining schedule, you could make an argument that the Bengals will be favored in each of their remaining games. I don't think it will happen, but it would be awesome! However, I do think it is possible the team sets a new franchise record for regular season record - which is currently 12-4. And, that would be awesome. On a side note, both times the Bengals won 12 games (1981 and 1988), they went on to the Super Bowl. Maybe a 13-3 regular season record could propel them to their first Super Bowl victory!

Hey Paul! Hopefully soon, right? Up until this week, the news on Burfict has been relatively low-key. However, this week Marvin Lewis hinted that both Burfict and Cedric Ogbuehi could practice and that the Pittsburgh game still remains a possibility for Burfict.

However, things seemed a little more bleak on Monday when both remained on the rehab field during practice and head coach Marvin Lewis said to the media (via before practice, "We’ve spent too much time talking about someone not on the roster. When he’s ready to come off rehab, he’s ready."

Given the Bengals will need to cut a player when they activate Burfict, and since they play Cleveland next Thursday, I wouldn't be surprised if they don't activate Burfict for the Pittsburgh game because of the short turnaround and how tough that would be on a player who hasn't played football in a year. My prediction is they activate him for the Cleveland game the following Thursday. Doing so allows him to work himself back in a less crucial game and then he has 10 days off until the next game. Either way, how nice will it be to add one of the best linebackers in the game to a 6-0 team?

Good question Bryan! Giovani Bernard and Jeremy Hill are both such different players - hence why they make such a dynamic duo in the backfield (a la James Brooks and Ickey Woods). I suppose it depends on how you define "dangerous." If I had to choose one to start my team, I would take Hill due to the way the game has evolved. I think it is harder to find a running back like Hill. Hill is that throwback type running back - big, strong, fast, looks for contact - and most running backs in college systems now are smaller, shifty guys like Bernard.

That being said, I would say Bernard's versatility and superb shiftiness make him more dangerous. Bernard can be a between the tackles runner (not of Hill's caliber), but can also run routes like a wide receiver; he has great hands and creates mismatches for opposing defenses. Few running backs in the NFL are as good in space as Bernard, therefore I would call Bernard more dangerous.

Jordan, I wish I could just bypass this question, but unfortunately, you and I both know there are Andy Dalton haters who are not buying into the improvement of Dalton and are just waiting under a rock to come out and start blasting him when he has a bad game. I actually have heard fans - with a straight face - still arguing that the Bengals should start A.J. McCarron, despite Dalton's play in the first six weeks (my head hurts). I don't understand why, but these "fans" seem as though they would rather see Dalton fail than watch the Bengals succeed. With that being the case, I think the first game where Dalton throws multiple interceptions, you will start hearing some of these folks chirping. If the Bengals happen to lose a game when Dalton throws multiple interceptions, I think this chirping will be louder... but those people are idiots, so we won't worry about them. Seriously, get behind your team and your team's quarterback. There's no need for any Dalton haters this season, or ever again.