On behalf of Steelers Nation, Bengals fans need to zip it

The Bengals have had an outstanding season, but they have done so with little accomplishments and much trash talk. From Steelers Nation, learn to be quiet.

The AFC North division, known for its depth and formidability, has seemingly garnered a reputation for signing checks that it can’t cash. This is due to the fans of its members running their mouths throughout a season, all just to watch their teams win nothing.

Three of the four AFC North teams have found eggs on their faces in recent memory for this exact reason, with the only exception being the Cincinnati Bengals. However, fans of the historically-underwhelming franchise appear to be actively trying to change that.

The Bengals fanbase, as a whole, hadn’t felt much of an urge to talk smack, as even they were aware of their team being the AFC North bottom-dweller over the past few years. Cincy’s current run, though, has flipped that narrative entirely on its head.

So far this season, the Bengals have dominated divisional counterparts and several others on the way to their first AFC North title since 2015, and just won their first playoff game in 31 years last weekend.

With all of this newfound success comes cockiness, though, and hastily-inflated egos are something that fans of weaklings don’t know how to handle. The Cleveland Browns showcased a strong example of this last year.

What did the Browns do last season? They made their first playoff appearance in forever and won the wild card matchup against their rival Pittsburgh Steelers. All they did after that victory was talk smack and lose to Chad Henne the very next week.

Unfortunately, that humiliation wasn’t enough to silence Cleveland fans, and they flapped their gums all throughout the offseason. In that span, they even had an impressive haul in the 2021 NFL Draft.

But where did all of that arrogance land the Browns this season? Tied with the Baltimore Ravens for the worst record in the AFC North, along with no playoff berth.

Speaking of the Ravens, they’ve also had some bigger heads recently (virtually ever since the snatching of quarterback Lamar Jackson). And what have they gotten in his tenure? A 1-3 record in the playoffs, no AFC title game appearances, and the last place spot in the division for this season.

Lastly, we have the Pittsburgh Steelers, as even they cannot be spared from criticism here. They began the 2020-21 NFL season 11-0, and the especially obnoxious fans were promising a Super Bowl run as a result. After that came a 1-4 stretch to end the regular season, a 1st-round playoff exit, and a sharp decline in their 2021-22 showing.

Bengals fans need to rip a page out of all of their rivals’ books and remember that they haven’t won anything yet. Congratulations on the great season so far, but it means nothing compared to hoisting up a Lombardi. If Cincinnati pulls that off, then you all can let the NFL world have it. But until then, zipping those lips would be wise.

Now I get it, not wanting to listen to a rival pundit is to be expected. So if you won’t take it from me, perhaps you’ll take it from your very own quarterback.