The Bengals think they're a better team - especially on defense - heading into the playoffs for the second season in a row.
They finished 9-7 last season, earned a wild card and got beat at Houston 31-10 in the first round. A 13-10 win in Pittsburgh on Sunday clinched another wild-card berth, only the second time in franchise history that they've gone to the playoffs in back-to-back seasons.
They're locked into the No. 6 seed regardless of what they do on Sunday against Baltimore (10-5) at Paul Brown Stadium.
The Bengals (9-6) think their playoff appearance last season - when quarterback Andy Dalton and receiver A.J. Green were rookies - taught them a lot.
They're also encouraged by the way their defense has dominated teams down the stretch.
(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)
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