If you told me at the beginning of the NFL season that the Cincinnati Bengals would be still in the hunt for the Playoffs with just two weeks to go…
I would take you to Vegas.
But that is the case as the 8-6 Bengals are still alive for the Postseason.
Before the start of Training Camp… Cincinnati did not know who their Quarterback was going to be.
Bruce Gradkowski? An NFL Journeyman who the team signed after then former QB1 Carson Palmer “Retired” after saying he wouldn’t play for the team again. (Mike Brown then traded him to the Oakland Raiders for a 2012 first-round pick and a conditional second-rounder in 2013 that could be another first if Oakland makes it to the AFC title game next year.)
By the way… Advantage Bengals on that trade. If this trade were in a Fantasy Football league… the other managers would Veto this in a Heartbeat.
Back on topic… Would it be Andy Dalton? A second round draft pick out of TCU who set school records in Wins (42), Touchdown Passes (72), Passing Yards (10,314), so on and so forth.
Cincinnati was in a rebuilding year, and if you’re going to rebuild, you have to do it right.
And so they did. Dalton was announced the starter for the upcoming season and it turns out to be one of the best decisions The Bengals have made in Years.
Dalton was named the NFL Offensive rookie of the month for October. Dalton led the Bengals to a 4-0 record with 909 yards passing and 6 Touchdowns.
Of those six tosses to the endzone… half of them were to Rookie Wide Receiver, AJ Green.
Green has been sensational for the Orange Black. He leads All Rookie Wideouts with 61 receptions, 1,006 yards, catches for more than 20 yards with 19, and receptions for more than 40-yards with seven.
I know they say defense wins championship and while the Bengals “D” is ranked 6th in the league… Dalton and Green are the ones keeping the Bengals Faithful from putting bags over their heads while sitting in the front row at Paul Brown Stadium.
Cincinnati has two games left. Arizona on Sunday, and AFC North Rival, Baltimore who is also looking for a playoff spot.
It’s no doubt the Bengals have to win out if they want to make the playoffs… but the need help.
That’s where ESPN’s Playoff Machine comes in.
Here are the possibilities for the Bengals if they are to make the playoffs:
This Week: Bengals defeat Cardinals and The New York Jets lose to The Giants, Cincinnati enters as the 6 seed.
The Final Week of the Regular season becomes pivotal. Cincinnati has a tough contest with the Balitmore Ravens who if they win on Christmas, have locked in a playoff spot. If the Bengals lose to the Ravens on Sunday… their hopes remain alive if the Following happens:
1. The New York Jets must lose to the Miami Dolphins (NYJ beat MIA 24-6 back in October). If The Jets Lose… their hopes remain alive for a few hours.
2. Oakland then has to lose to San Diego, provided if the Raiders beat Kansas City Sunday.
So for Cincinnati it’s simple. Win, and you’re in. That will give The Bengals Nation plenty to cheer for because if my calculations are correct, it sets up a rematch with Houston Texans in the Lone Star State.
And that is a game I’m sure Cincinnati will be happy to play.