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Why everybody hates the Bengals now

Don’t worry. It’s a good thing.

AFC Divisional Playoffs - Cincinnati Bengals v Buffalo Bills Photo by Timothy T Ludwig/Getty Images

The Cincinnati Bengals are nobody’s darlings. And believe me, they don’t want to be. Nor should fans want them to be.

Remember when the Pittsburgh Steelers would rough Marvin Lewis’ Bengals up? Or when our QB was constantly praised for being a nice guy who signaled “I love you” after every touchdown but quietly retired into the offseason after annual disappointments?

Well, those days are gone.

These Bengals have no fear. They know they can beat you, any place, any time, and they will tell you that to your face. To be clear, that’s not a bad thing.

Jay Busbee of Yahoo! Sports recently wrote about how the Bengals are on their way to being the NFL’s most-hated team. He added that the bad-guy origin story could be said to have started at this very moment:

During pregame warmups in Buffalo, an underdog against the mighty Bills, amid tens of thousands of table-jumping fanatics, Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow was so chill that he was flicking blind passes and pirouetting on his heel, holding the pose just long enough for the cameras to see.

The article also pointed to the boastful, sarcastic, and arguably mean-spirited words and tweets of Bengals players and head coach Zac Taylor following the team’s demolition of the Buffalo Bills. Here’s a quick recap of what he referenced.

The best part is that Busbee concluded by comparing the Bengals’ ability to play the villain role to that of the Tom Brady-Bill Belichick New England Patriots, the Pittsburgh Steelers of the 1970s, and the Dallas Cowboys of the 1990s. Not bad company at all.

But still, Cincinnati must back the talk up. Can they do that this Sunday against the Kansas City Chiefs? Watch our preview to get a complete breakdown:

You can also listen on iTunes or using the player below: