Bengals plan to 'exorcise the elephant in the room'


If the Cincinnati Bengals fall Sunday in Indianapolis, Andy Dalton would tie the NFL record for most consecutive playoff losses by a quarterback to begin his career, a record held by Hall of Famer Y.A. Tittle.

Dalton's playoff struggles aren't new. The quarterback's ratio of one touchdown to six interceptions in the three postseason losses is the third-lowest rate in playoff history. Cincinnati as a franchise has the dubious distinction of the longest active streak without a playoff win.

Offensive coordinator Hue Jackson told's Peter King, in one of the all-time mixed metaphors, the team isn't running from the history.

"We have to exorcise the elephant in the room," Jackson said.

Despite playoff struggles and a dreadful primetime performance, Dalton was given a new, six-year $96 million contract this offseason. The deal made that elephant even more enormous.

Jackson said he hasn't been harping on the playoff woes in meetings, but added he doesn't believe in running from the issue either.

"I don't believe in running from reality," Jackson said. "And I see a group that understands where we are and what they are facing. I have seen a focused group this week. This has been the most focused week of practice I have seen in Andy. I think it will show up on Sunday."

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