Mike Zimmer: 'Cincinnati Bengals close to AFC leaders'

The Cincinnati Bengals line up against the Oakland Raiders on November 25, 2012
© AP Photos
Cincinnati Bengals defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer believes that the side is close to being one of the leaders in the AFC conference.

Mike Zimmer has said that the Cincinnati Bengals are close to being one of the strongest sides in their conference.

The Bengals have secured a wildcard playoff place in the AFC for the last two seasons, losing to the Houston Texans on both occasions.

The side's defensive coordinator told NFL AM: "I think we're really close. The first year, we got thumped pretty good by Houston. This year was a lot closer. We're right there.

"But we're going to have to keep grinding and keep adding talent. We have a good nucleus of guys, and I think we're exactly where we need to be."

The Bengals finished the regular 2012 season with the sixth-best record in the AFC conference.

Bengals QB Andy Dalton in action against the Texans on January 5, 2013
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