With the dueling personalities of Chad Ochocinco and Terrell Owens joining forces in Cincinnati, Ravens fans have got to expect more smack talk and competition this season from the Bengals than their traditional AFC North rival Pittsburgh Steelers. Since Ben Roethlisberger will be on the shelf for four to six weeks and Cincinnati making the necessary moves to stay strong, you’ve got to give your respect to the boys in the ugly orange striped pants.
But hey, you’ve gotta love the NFL. Only in this great league can a team dynamically shift the outlook of a division, we see it every year. Last year the Bengals swept the Baltimore Ravens and are looking to remain competitive in the AFC North this season. Cincinnati really has been the red headed step child in the AFC North and even though they were competitive last season, they took a dive in the playoffs getting beat by the Jets 24-14 on their home turf.
But unlike in years past, the Bengals aren’t looking to go away. In fact, they’ve targeted the Ravens weakness and are looking to attack on it again in 2010. They’re rolling the dice with potential locker room concerns, but the talent is definitely in place for another run this season.
In my opinion, with a veteran Owens who is looking to prove he’s still got it after a quiet year playing for “North America’s team” the Buffalo Bills, Antonio Bryant and the always dangerous Chad Ochocinco provide a dangerous matchup for the battered Ravens secondary. Carson Palmer has always played the Ravens well and the personalities in the Bengals locker room have shifted the rivalry for the 2010 season from the Steelers to the Bengals.
As a fan, I can’t wait to hear the smack talk and watch it all unfold during the season. The Ravens get their chance to take control of the AFC North early when they travel to Cincinnati to face the Bengals.