As Bengals fans we've seen it all, but this one is nearly incomprehensible. The post-MMQB Peter King, newly of NBC Sports, is just bursting with love for Mike Brown's team. Get a load of this, from his Football Morning in America column, September 3, 2018 (link
• Pittsburgh … The eternal search for a secondary continues, as does the search for an interior boss like Ryan Shazier to lead the defense; when Shazier was lost with his spinal injury, the Steelers responded in their five games by allowing 28 points per game and fizzling out of the playoffs. It’s not impossible to fathom Cincinnati or Baltimore winning this division; both are better on defense than the Steelers.
The AFC playoff Picture
Division winners: New England, Jacksonville, Cincinnati, Los Angeles Chargers.
Wild-card teams: Pittsburgh, Houston.
Seeds: 1. New England, 2. Jacksonville, 3. Chargers, 4. Cincinnati, 5. Pittsburgh, 6. Houston
AFC title game: New England 30, Los Angeles 23.
Coach: Doug Pederson, Philadelphia. The defending Super Bowl champ wouldn’t normally win this, but I’ve got the Eagles surviving the early questions at quarterback to go an NFL-best 13-3.
The contenders: 2. Bill Belichick, New England. 3. Anthony Lynn, Chargers. 4. Marvin Lewis, Cincinnati. 5. Doug Marrone, Jacksonville.
Defensive player: Geno Atkins, defensive tackle, Cincinnati. Surprising win over the two mega-money guys, Aaron Donald and Khalil Mack. But Atkins will get a huge hand from Carlos Dunlap and Andrew Billings on the defensive front. The Bengals will win the division with this front, and Atkins will lead the way.
There you go. A better defense than the Steelers. Predicted winning the AFC North. Marvin Lewis a contender for Coach of the Year. Geno Atkins predicted winning Defensive Player of the Year. The obscure team in Cincinnati landed on his radar four separate times, and in a positive way, too. Seems like the last time we heard from Peter King he was complaining about the Bengals not drafting Lamar Jackson. Now he's using up a decades' worth of favorable observations in a single column. Whoa... I need some time to process.