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Bengals players call Sunday’s win “a big statement”

CINCINNATI, OH - OCTOBER 11: Domata Peko #94 of the Cincinnati Bengals celebrates after making a defensive stop during overtime against the Seattle Seahawks at Paul Brown Stadium on October 11, 2015 in Cincinnati, Ohio. Cincinnati defeated Seattle 27-24 in overtime. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

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Bengals safety George Iloka didn’t make too much of Sunday’s comeback from 17 points down to beat the Seahawks in overtime and said that the victory “means nothing” in the big picture when talking to reporters after the game.

Iloka’s not wrong about what an October win will mean come January, but it was certainly a win that felt like it counted for a little bit more. The Bengals were down 24-7 to the Seahawks and facing another round of “same old Bengals” if they lost the game, but they rallied behind Andy Dalton on offense and the defense turned up the heat on Seattle to put themselves in position to win the game in overtime.

Left tackle Andrew Whitworth said winning the game sent “a heck of a message” about this year’s Bengals and his longtime teammate Domata Peko said that the two men had been on plenty of other teams in Cincinnati that couldn’t have pulled it off.
“That’s a big statement. Seattle’s been to the last two Super Bowls and they play just like us,” Peko said, via the team’s website. “Their defense flies around, they have offensive weapons. To be down 17 points, other teams I’ve been on probably would have folded. This is a different team. Our eyes were still on the prize. We endured hardships and we bent, but we never broke.”

It’s certainly worth celebrating a win like that, even if Iloka’s view should return if the team is going to keep the undefeated run alive. Given the way the Bengals have been defined by their January flops, it shouldn’t be too hard to convince anyone that the biggest fish remain unfried.