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Andrew Whitworth on Bengals vs Bears: "This is who we want to be"

The Bengals rebounded in a big way Saturday night thanks to a dominant performance in the trenches.

Andy Lyons/Getty Images

Just five days after being thoroughly embarrassed by the Buccaneers in primetime, the Bengals bounced back in a big way with their performance on Saturday.

It came in a the form of a 21-10 beatdown of the Bears that was really never close. Cincinnati's starters jumped out to a quick 7-0 lead and didn't slow down once Andy Dalton left the game. Both on the ground and through the air, the Bengals gouged the Bears' defense while suffocating their offense en route to taking a 21-3 lead going into halftime.

This, after trailing the Bucs 23-3 at the half just five days earlier. Monday's performance was about as ugly as the Bengals have ever looked under Marvin Lewis, and how different they looked less than a week later spoke to how good this team really is, as Andrew Whitworth told

"This is the team we think we are. That we can be," Whitworth. "Lulls happen. You have to overcome them and great teams bounce back. That’s what you have to have and that’s what we did tonight. This is who we want to be. Play good defense, be able to run it and throw it and do what we want. We feel good about that."

A big way Cincinnati bounced back Saturday was on the ground. On Monday, the Bengals rushed for just 42-yards on 15 carries and allowed the Bucs to run for 145 yards on 37 carries. Against the Bears, Cincinnati dominated the trenches while running for 145-yards on 39 carries while allowing just 67-yards on 18 carries.

That was the formula for Cincinnati's 10-5-1 season a year ago: Running the ball and stopping the run. In games in which the Bengals had one running back rush for 100-yards or more in 2014, they went 4-1-1. In games in which the Bengals' running backs combined to rush for more than 100 yards, they went 9-1-1 with the one loss being a narrow one in Pittsburgh.

Simply put, the ground is where the Bengals are going to live and die this year as they look to finally break through in the playoffs and make a deep postseason run.