So the Cincinnati Bengals are 2-0. They dominated Oakland by 20 points and controlled San Diego with relative ease. Andy Dalton is clearly playing with confidence, Tyler Eifert is breaking out, Geno Atkins is back and foundation superstars like Vontaze Burfict and A.J. Green are either hurt or playing below expectations. Cincinnati is undefeated. That's all that matters. Yet, it doesn't matter at all.
Mindful folk, such as players and coaches, as well as old school fans with memories that dog their expectations through a prism of negativity, remind you of something... 2-0 means absolutely nothing.
Heading into the third week of the 2015 regular season, Cincinnati is boasting an undefeated record while the Baltimore Ravens are win-less. As fans, we cover our mouths and giggle. Players and coaches remind everyone that the numbers two and zero are meaningless reminders during the September Equinox.
"That's a great storyline, but the truth and the reality is, NFL football seasons are long," offensive tackle Andrew Whitworth said via ESPN. "Say we win and go 3-0 and they go 0-3 and then we lose our next nine and they win the next nine, the storyline, it's not any good."
Whitworth has relative perspective. In 2010, the Bengals, boasting an interesting Chad Johnson and Terrell Owens unification project, captained by a healthy Carson Palmer while coming off a 2009 postseason berth, won two of their first three games.
Cincinnati went on to lose 10 straight.
Despite the enthusiasm you feel being 2-0, the Bengals have historically struggled to keep that momentum. Dating back to 1992, the Bengals have opened a season 2-0 six times; three times they finished with a losing record and failed to qualify for the postseason on four occasions.
"The truth is, every week is a challenge and you better treat every week like the playoffs or like it's your last in this league or you could get on a bad streak fast," Whitworth said. "For us, we keep hearing about what their mentality is going to be, but our mentality this year was to go to the Super Bowl, and that means stepping on anybody we've got to step on along the way."
Marvin Lewis also isn't buying into the theory that the Ravens are desperate for a win. "They are not desperate," Lewis said during Wednesday's press conference. "It's a long football season. They'll be ready to play whether we were both 2-0, we're both 0-2 or both 1-1. It's going to be the same football game it was going to be."