Cincinnati Bengals: A statement was made vociferously vs. Ravens

BALTIMORE, MARYLAND - OCTOBER 24: Quarterback Joe Burrow #9 of the Cincinnati Bengals gets off a pass while being hit by linebacker Justin Houston #50 of the Baltimore Ravens at M&T Bank Stadium on October 24, 2021 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
BALTIMORE, MARYLAND - OCTOBER 24: Quarterback Joe Burrow #9 of the Cincinnati Bengals gets off a pass while being hit by linebacker Justin Houston #50 of the Baltimore Ravens at M&T Bank Stadium on October 24, 2021 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images) /
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A 41-17 victory over the Baltimore Ravens is enough for the Cincinnati Bengals to send a “We are here” statement. 

Who saw this coming? Not the Cincinnati Bengals playing the Baltimore Ravens as division rivals, but Cincinnati going on the road and dropping 41 points. Yup, that’s not a misprint. A 41-17 victory has Who Dey Nation tied for first in the AFC North. Seriously, who saw this coming?

Two weeks ago, Cincinnati feared the kicking goalposts against the Green Bay Packers. Last week, Cincinnati won the game, but against the still winless Detroit Lions.  Meanwhile, Baltimore was taking pictures on the bench after routing the Los Angeles Chargers at home. Conventional wisdom spoke that the Ravens were the favorites.

Baltimore will still be a dominant team, but the Bengals can also join in the fun for now. They won, and they did so while going on the road. A 5-2 record just like Baltimore? Again, who saw this coming from this team?

Also, can we give props to the Bengals front office by going with Ja’Marr Chase in the draft instead of listening to the outside noise and taking Penei Sewell? Yes, you must have good line protection in the NFL, but Sewell isn’t doing much in Detroit. Chase, on the other hand, looks like a candidate for offensive rookie of the year.

The Cincinnati Bengals have a long way to go, but they made a statement against the Ravens by showing they are not a pushover.

This is not Marvin Lewis’ Cincinnati Bengals. Those guys, although very talented, often found themselves in the headlines, not for their good play, but cheap shots and off-the-field issues, i.e., Vontzae Burfict. It feels different now, and though it may potentially become a mirage, it’s looking more and more realistic.

Cincinnati is becoming a force to be dealt with in the AFC, and given just how many teams are fighting for pristine recognition, any victory will be essential come playoff time. Seeding will be on their minds, as with the expanded playoff field, only one team will receive a bye.

It’s only one game, and there’s a long way to go before Cincinnati can start celebrating. The franchise hasn’t done well in the postseason in recent years.

Can this be the year they change the narrative? Sure. But they have to get there first, and right now, they look on track to accomplishing just that.