The Bengals should be praised around the NFL as a model of consistency for their recent success.
Instead, not winning in the playoffs has made them the brunt end of too many jokes. Four straight postseason berths have ended in four demoralizing losses. It must be noted that Cincinnati was the favorite in only one of those games (2014 vs. Chargers), but that doesn't change the facts, this team has endured a rare feat of losing four straight playoff games.
Hue Jackson has been present for three of those losses, one of which came last year as he was at the helm of the Bengals' offense. Now, he's speaking out about being sick of coming up short when it's do-or-die time. He's also tired of being part of a team others laugh at for their failures.
"We're tired," Jackson said, via ESPN. "I'm tired of being the brunt of jokes. I'm tired of our organization being the brunt of jokes. I don't want to be the laughingstock of anything, and neither do those players."
It's great to know Jackson feels exactly the same way Bengals fans do in addition to realizing how the rest of the NFL views his team. While four straight playoff berths should be lauded, four straight one-and-dones makes it a laughable achievement.
For one reason or another, this team simply hasn't been able to get over the hump and win a playoff game. Jackson doesn't want that to be the case this year, or else the Bengals will remain the butt-end of jokes.
Jeremy Hill has only been here for one playoff loss, yet he's been as adamant as anyone about getting over the playoff hump.
"You start getting playoff wins, you start earning respect around the league and the respect of the fans and the respect of the media," Hill said. "Until you do that then you won't get the respect you deserve. We know that."
While injuries have often left Cincinnati badly wounded by the time the postseason rolls around, it's gotten to the point where it's hard for there to be any excuse. There's simply too much talent and depth on this team to not win at least one playoff game if they make it that far.
No matter what this team does in the regular season, the playoff monkey will remain on the Bengals' back until they rip it off in the postseason.