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NFL Cincinnati Bengals

5 Reasons Why Cincinnati Bengals Will Win the Super Bowl

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5 Biggest Factors That Could Lead to A Super Bowl Win For the Bengals

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Andrew Weber - USA Today Sports

The Cincinnati Bengals have made it to the NFL playoffs for the third-straight year.

In Week 16, the Bengals got a big win over the Minnesota Vikings to clinch a playoff spot, then their AFC North foe Baltimore Ravens lost to the New England Patriots and allowed the Bengals to clinch the AFC North as well. Week 17 saw the Ravens traveling to Cincinnati hoping to get a win over the Bengals and secure a playoff spot. The Bengals won 34-17, which dashed the hopes of the Ravens for another Super Bowl win. Despite the win, the Bengals were not able to clinch a first-round bye in the playoffs because of a win by the Patriots.

The Bengals have a history of not making it past the first round of the playoffs. However, experts are saying that the Bengals and Denver Broncos are the best bets right now to make it to the AFC Championship Game. The Bengals have already played and beat three of the other AFC playoff teams, including their first-round opponent San Diego Chargers. The other two are the Patriots and Indianapolis Colts. They beat the Chargers in Week 13 on the road and this first-round game will take place in Cincinnati, where the Bengals are undefeated this season.

A big question for the Bengals this season has been their quarterback Andy Dalton. He normally plays very well at home, but has also proven to be inconsistent. The Bengals have to hope he is consistent in the playoffs and doesn’t buckle under the pressure.

The AFC playoff race is wide open. Will the Bengals actually be successful in the playoffs this year and make it to the Super Bowl?

Here are five reasons why the Bengals will win the Super Bowl.

Jenna Aquino is a Big Ten Football writer for RantSports.com. Follow her on Twitter, "Like" her on Facebook, add her to your network on Google, or reach her by e-mail at starz9815@hotmail.com.

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5. Success against fellow AFC playoff teams

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Marc Lebryk - USA Today Sports

The Bengals have already played and beat three out of the other five AFC playoff teams. In Week 14, they beat Andrew Luck and the Colts 42-28 in Cincinnati. They also had seen success in Week 5 with a win over the Patriots, which was also in Cincinnati. The Bengals are unstoppable at home, and their defense has already proven that they have the ability to slow down both Luck and Tom Brady. The Bengals' defense prevented Brady from throwing a touchdown pass and held the Patriots to just two field goals. Not to mention their first-round opponent, the Chargers, who they beat on the road already this season. The potential AFC playoff matchups look to be in the Bengals’ favor and should allow them to finally see success in the postseason.

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4. Determination

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Andrew Weber - USA Today Sports

The Bengals are determined to see more postseason success than they have the past two seasons, in which they lost in the first round. They are undefeated at home and have proven that they can beat the Chargers, Colts and Patriots already this season. Dalton is determined to prove himself by showing that he can overcome the pressure of the playoffs and help his team win. The Bengals also would like to prove that they deserve their spot in the playoffs by making a successful run this year and no longer be pegged as a one-and-done playoff team.

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3. Giovani Bernard

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Mark Zerof - USA Today Sports

Rookie running back Giovani Bernard has been impressive for the Bengals this season. He can make the big plays the Bengals need him to make in the running game and he can also catch a pass. The 5-foot-9, 208-pound Bernard has great vision and excels at finding holes in the defense and is difficult to bring down. Any defense that has trouble stopping the run will be in trouble trying to stop the likes of Bernard and fellow running back BenJarvus Green-Ellis. Bernard has 695 rushing yards and five touchdowns on the ground this season, but is also a receiving threat. He leads the AFC in yards from scrimmage by a rookie with 1,023, making him the dual-threat back that the Bengals have needed for years.

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2. Andy Dalton

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Andrew Weber - USA Today Sports

Yes, Dalton is known for being inconsistent, but that just means he has all the more to prove. He says that he will be up to the task. He has led the Bengals to the playoffs the last two seasons, but has never been able to get them past the first round. This year could be a good chance for him to do so. The 2013 season has been his best pro season so far, as he has set career-highs in completions, attempts, yards, touchdowns and passer rating. Dalton also has the best group of players behind him than he’s had his whole professional career. He did throw four interceptions on Sunday in the Bengals win over the Ravens, but the performance of his defense allowed his team to get the win anyway. In the four previous games, Dalton had thrown 10 touchdown passes and only one interception. The Bengals have to hope that the consistent Dalton will show up in the playoffs.

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1. Defense

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Mark Zerof - USA Today Sports

The Bengals’ defense is better than that of any other team in the AFC playoff race. It has ranked among the league’s best all season despite injuries, including perhaps their biggest loss in Pro Bowl defensive tackle Geno Atkins. He is out with a torn ACL, but the Bengals have other players on the defensive side who have stepped up in his absence and allowed the Bengals to continue to be one of the best defenses in the NFL. Linebacker Vontaze Burfict is one of those players. He is the NFL’s leading tackler and is looking to continue to make a name for himself with a good performance in the playoffs.

Remember, defense wins championships, and the Bengals have one of the best in the NFL.