May 21, 2022

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Mike Hilton: People think 2021 was a fluke, but…

2 min read
AFC Wild Card Playoffs - Las Vegas Raiders v Cincinnati Bengals




AFC Wild Card Playoffs - Las Vegas Raiders v Cincinnati Bengals

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The Bengals are the current defending AFC champions. But they’re beginning 2022 with an underdog mentality.

Whether it’s a straw man or not, Cincinnati cornerback Mike Hilton essentially said the team is operating as if most who aren’t in the building believe what happened in 2021 is unsustainable.

“Lot of people outside [the] organization think last year was a fluke. But we are confident in each other,” Hilton said, via Paul Dehner Jr. of TheAthletic.com. “People still didn’t believe it throughout the whole playoff run. When people call it a fluke, we just smile.”

Hilton added, via Ben Baby of ESPN, that people might think 2021 was a fluke, “Because it’s the Bengals.”

Historically, it’s tough for any team that loses the Super Bowl to be back in it the next year. The 2018 Patriots are one of the few examples in recent memory that’s lost the final game of the season one year and won it the next.

Still, with Joe Burrow at quarterback, Ja’Marr Chase leading the way at receiver, an improved offensive line, and another year of growth on defense, it’s easy to see how the Bengals could finish at the top of the AFC North in 2022. If the team gains some motivation and competitive edge from a perception that folks don’t think they’re good enough, so be it.



Mike Hilton: People think 2021 was a fluke, but we’re confident in each other