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Cincy Jungle on FOX Sports AM 1340 New Mexico

Cincy Jungle's Anthony Cosenza joined Steve Bortstein at FOX Sports 1340AM in New Mexico to talk about the Bengals and their upcoming Monday night clash with the Texans. Have a read and listen to the interview!

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As the Cincinnati Bengals continue their NFL dominance, we who cover the team reap the publicity benefits from it. Steve Bortstein, host of FOX Sports' morning program on 1340AM in New Mexico, graciously had me on his program once again Monday morning. We talked about the Bengals' 8-0 start to the season, how they got there and the outlook for the Monday Night Football contest against the Houston Texans.

It's an odd feeling, having watched Bengals football for a couple of decades and having covered the team for five, when Bortstein referred to the team as "having the targets on their back" because of their wild 2015 success. Before we talked about the Texans, he asked me about the Steelers' win over the Browns on Sunday afternoon.

We both concluded that Pittsburgh "has been putting it together with duct tape and bandages", at the hand of Ben Roethlisberger. "He's (Roethlisberger) been in and out of the lineup and he's had what seemed to be some pretty severe injuries, but they keep winning games...yeah, they keep nipping at the Bengals' heels and they're not going away anytime soon, it seems," I said.

"What have you seen from Andy Dalton these last couple of weeks to give you the impression that he's taken that leap forward?", Bortstein asked me. I noted Dalton's comfort level while in his second year in Hue Jackson's offensive system, as well as having all of his weapons back. As I told Bortstein on Monday morning, Dalton had a history of sensing phantom pressure, giving him happy feet to cause a poor throw.

Speaking of Jackson, we talked about his system and how vital he has been to Dalton's success. "I think in that first year, which was 2014 that Jackson took over, Jackson tried to do some things that were similar to what Gruden did, just to ease the transition for Dalton and all of the young players on offense as well. I think now, you're seeing a lot more wrinkles, a lot more things that show Jackson kind of putting his stamp on this system--kind of wacky formations and different plays," I said.

Borstein also brought up the facet of Monday night being a "trap game", of sorts, given the records of both teams. "Well, the one thing that plays into the Bengals' hands a little bit is that they've had an extended week from playing last Thursday night...I do agree with you that this does smell a little bit like a trap game, but Houston is pretty banged up. They lost Arian Foster, you mentioned the off-field issues with Ryan Mallett and the whole quarterback carousel issues they've had. But, Houston has actually had the Bengals' numbers of late. They have won three of the last four games, two in the playoffs. The Bengals did beat them last year in Houston...This team, throughout the year, has maintained its focus--I think that's why they've gotten to 8-0," I responded.

We also made our game predictions for tonight, but you'll have to listen to get them. Enjoy!