Bus Stops: These aren't the Bungles anymore

Throughout the 2009 season, SI.com's Adam Duerson will work with Jerome Bettis to get the six-time Pro Bowl running back's observations about the previous week's games. Bettis retired from the NFL in 2006 after a 13-year career.

After 10 years playing in their division as a Steeler, I'll say this: I barely recognize these Bengals. I am so use to seeing the Bungles -- the guys who, in the last quarter of games, always found a way to lose. In the locker room and on the field, no matter what situation we were in, we always knew they'd find a way to blow it. We almost didn't worry about them; we knew they'd hand us the game no matter how well they played for the first three quarters. Most of those years we just laughed about the Bengals. Put pressure on them and they'll fall apart, we said.

But this team is the total opposite. They find freakish ways to win. And to see Carson Palmer's resurgence after his injury at the hands of my team... I think back to that playoff game in 2005 and it was precisely what we expected from the Bengals. Even in a year when they were good -- and remember that they came into Pittsburgh and beat us that year -- they still managed to have something bizarre happen. We always knew that would happen every time with them. They had buzzard's luck.

Now it's a totally different mindset in Cincinnati and you have to credit a lot of that to Marvin Lewis. He's taken his team into the fourth quarter and consistently won, against all odds. These are just things we always knew, in Pittsburgh, that the Bengals couldn't do late. This is a new franchise.

From a running back's perspective, here's what I see differently in Cedric Benson: He kind of plodded along in Chicago. I didn't see him running with vision. He ran tough, for sure. But he always looked like he was running to get tackled, and that won't get you far.

The Cedric Benson I see now is running to daylight, he's making great cuts. I am very impressed with the way he's turned things around and reinvented himself.