• Fri. Feb 3rd, 2023

Sports commentary

By Conrad Clowers

Cincinnati Herald Sports

It may be a once in a generation thing, but this is certainly the generation capable of bringing a title to the Queen City. The Cincinnati Bengals took one more step in obtaining that every elusive title.

This past weekend Cincinnati defeated the Baltimore Ravens for the second time in as many weeks. This time the steaks were much higher. Win equals advance. Lose equals season over. The 24-17 win over the Ravens means Cincinnati will move on to play Buffalo.

Cincinnati will have some tough decisions to make going forward. This past off-season the team did not offer safety Jessie Bates a contract he felt was suitable to his talents. Bates ultimately signed a 1-year franchise tag deal. The team has been reminded over and over why Bates is so valuable. It is conceivable that Bates may have played his last game in Paycor stadium.   

Tyler Boyd, who has been a Bengal since 2016, is another Bengal leader the Bengals will have to make a decision on for the future. Boyd is a member of one of the deadliest group of receivers, along with Jamar Chase and Tee Higgins, in the NFL. Boyd was part of the laughable first pick in the draft 2-14 Bengals a few years ago and is  part of the defending AFC champions group.

Joe Mixon is another veteran Bengal who has seen the highest of highs and lowest of lows in stripes.  Mixon is in his sixth season as a Bengal. Every time the former Oklahoma Sooner running back is doubted, Mixon responds with a multiple touchdown game or well over 100 yards rushing. Mixon rushed for five touchdowns in a game earlier this season for the Bengals.

The team will need every veteran and rookie to be at the top of their game for the final stretch run. A huge matchup against the Buffalo Bills looms this coming weekend in the second round of the playoffs. The winner of that game will face the winner of the Kansas City vs. Jacksonville game for the right to go to Super Bowl 57. 

No matter what happens from here on out Cincinnati has made its mark and gotten several monkeys off its back. The biggest task, to become Super Bowl champions, still looms in the shadow. Cincinnati has enough veteran leadership to remember the nasty taste of being a laughing stalk and losing. For Bates, Boyd, and Mixon being around enough to see the extreme of success and failure should be all the more sweeter and enough motivation.