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Don't Look Now, But Zac Taylor Has Bengals Trending in Right Direction

Cincinnati is tied for first place in the AFC North.

CINCINNATI — The Bengals controlled Sunday's game against the Steelers from start to finish. 

Cincinnati never trailed in the 24-10 victory. It's just one win, but it means much more than that to the city, to a fan base and to a head coach that has to show everyone, including Bengals ownership, that his plan is working. 

Zac Taylor entered Sunday's game with a 1-15-1 road record. He only had two AFC North wins and both came at the end of the season against teams that were trending in the wrong direction. 

This was as close to a must-win for Taylor as you could get, especially considering his team laid an egg in Chicago in Week 2.

His guys responded. From Joe Burrow and Ja'Marr Chase to a dominant performance by a defensive line that sacked Ben Roethlisberger four times and compiled 17 pressures. 

The third-year head coach may have struggled in his first two seasons, but things are trending in the right direction. 

"We need to have more success in our division. And today's just the first opportunity we had to do that. I'm thankful it came on the road," Taylor said after the game. "I'm glad our first divisional game was on the road because it's just a great part of our early season momentum that we needed to build. You could have drawn up the schedule I would have wanted a Week 3 divisional opponent on the road, I would have wanted that. Again, we've just got to finish strong this week on Thursday night."

Taylor has led the Bengals to a 4-2 record in their last six games dating back to last season. That includes two wins over the Steelers. 

He and his team still have plenty to prove, starting on Thursday against a winless Jaguars team, but there's plenty of optimism surrounding this team after three games. 

"Especially coming off of last week. We knew we had to come in here and win," Burrow said. "First division game, second road game. We didn’t play well in the first road game so we had to come in here and play the way we did. It wasn’t perfect, we have a lot of room to improve on offense, but we got the job done.”

If the Bengals continue to do their job, then more and more people will start to believe in Taylor's team. 

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