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Cincy Jungle interview with FOX Sports AM 1340 New Mexico

Cincy Jungle's Anthony Cosenza recently joined Steve Bortstein with FOX Sports AM 1340 in New Mexico to talk about the Bengals and their upcoming battle with the Browns.

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As the Bengals embark on their second consecutive AFC North battle against the Browns, I joined FOX Sports 1340 AM in New Mexico once again to talk about the team's 7-0 start. I also chatted with Steve Bortstein about the team's win against Pittsburgh and the stigma of the primetime issues with Cincinnati.

Below is the audio and partial transcript of the interview. Big thanks to the kind folks over at FOX Sports 1340 AM and Steve Bortstein. Listen and enjoy!

SB: I want you to, for a moment, take off the Cincinnati Bengals hat for a minute and rank these undefeated teams in order one through four: New England, Denver Cincinnati and Carolina. Where do you see these four teams, in order, where we stand right now?

AC: Well, it's kind of an odd thing because people, rightfully so, want to put New England at the top because of who they have been and having Tom Brady and Bill Belichick at the helm of that team. But, you look at the three other teams and actually, from top to bottom, Cincinnati, Denver and Carolina, are more complete than New England. It's more about the history and who Tom Brady and Bill Belichick are. But, to answer your question, I guess I'd go New England, and really it's a neck-and-neck from there, I guess I'd hesitantly put Denver above at No. 2 because of the recent Vernon Davis trade to add to that offensive weaponry. And then Cincinnati and Carolina--that's probably where I'd put them right now.

SB: ...Anthony, let's talk about the Cincinnati victory over Pittsburgh. I don't believe in the idea that a win as an ugly win aren't as desirable, or it's not as good as a pretty win. Wins at this point are going to be tough, teams will be coming after you, you have the target on your back. Games get bigger and bigger every week, so long as the winning streak remains intact, so again I don't care. A win is a win, especially against Pittsburgh--a heated division rivalry.

AC: Absolutely. Totally in agreement there and it's in Pittsburgh, on the road. You kind of got the feeling the way Pittsburgh was playing, and a little bit of the intensity of the crowd and the overall intensity the Steelers were playing with that they felt a lot of their season was riding on that game. Their defense who hadn't been statistically impressive in 2015, was stifling the Bengals offense, who had been statistically impressive in 2015. They completely frustrated the Bengals offensive line and Andy Dalton on the day. And, credit them, they had a good game plan going.

Inexplicably, Hue Jackson didn't run the ball very often and it was one of the few things that seemed to be consistently working well. Jeremy Hill had four yards per carry and Giovani Bernard only had one carry on the afternoon. So, it was kind of an odd game plan from Jackson. But, as you said, they pulled out the win and really grabbed a stranglehold on the AFC North early in the season. I don't want to say that win is wasted if the Bengals lay an egg Thursday night against the Browns, but they have to continue that momentum and grip on the division with a win against Cleveland.

SB: ...How important is it for Andy Dalton to have a good game Thursday night under the lights?

AC: I think it's pretty important from a confidence standpoint and getting some of those primetime jitters out. I think we talked about it last time I was on, but this team just doesn't play well when the lights come on and the national audience is watching. It's almost a year to the day that the Bengals hosted the Browns on Thursday night and they got embarrassed. It was a game that they honored Leah Still during one of the quarters. They just plain got embarrassed by the Browns at home. I'd like to think they'll use that as bulletin board material this week for the Bengals and they'll remember that and try to play a lot better. I think there are still skeptics of the big games under the lights that are rearing their heads this week. They are coming off of a physical game on a short week and that's going to play a role in this game as well.