This has been thoroughly debated through the past two seasons, and I now believe that the debate has credit to it. The Bengals got the monkey off their back by beating the Steelers, and getting into the play offs for the second consecutive season. The Steelers have missed out, and it's time to consider the Bengals as contenders in not only the AFCN but the AFC in general into the future.

Good young QB who can win a lot of games. Good receiving core, one of the better Olines in the game, and a solid young defense. They may not be loaded in talent like the Ravens and Steelers have over the years, but with questions surrounding our own roster, and the Steelers looking to be in cap hell in the offseason, I seriously think the Bengals have leap frogged the Steelers.

Maybe the rivalry between the Ravens and the Steelers won't be as intense or have as many implications as it has done through the last few years, and maybe the Ravens vs Bengals will be the new big rivalry game in the AFCN. Who knows whats going to happen with the Browns, they have a good core of young players that needs more players to even think about competing in this division.

I've been hearing reports that the Steelers may be up to -28 million against the cap, sounds very exaggerated to me, but it's no secret that the Steelers have constantly restructured deals/contracts year after year, and it looks like it's going to come back to haunt them. I would not be surprised to see James Harrison, Troy, Larry Foote, Ike Taylor, Brett Kiesel, and Casey Hampton all to be gone next season. That's before players like Mike Wallace and Keenan Lewis hitting FA, players that the Steelers will likely not be able to resign.