membengal Posted November 12, 2007 Report Share Posted November 12, 2007 First, a disclaimer:I am NOT predicting the Bengals will make the playoffs. Anyone who responds in this thread to point out that they won't make the playoffs, I curse you to be visited by Bax on a nightly basis to discuss with you his thesis that Carson Palmer is the antichrist.What I am doing is looking at how this season might still hold some relevance for Bengals fans. The look is predicated, in measure, on the suspicion, that if Chris Henry stays healthy and non-suspended, that the team is far more dangerous than it was the first eight games of the year.With that in mind, where we stand for the Wild Cards:Bengals 3-6.Targets:Jax and Titans both 6-3.Teams in-between:Bills and Browns 5-4Ravens/Broncos/Chiefs 4-5Now, obviously, it is a tall order to climb all those teams, especially when they Bengals have lost so many H2H to them already. But the goal for this thread is to identify in the short term how to make the season more relelvant. On that note, good news:Next week, the Bengals host the Cardinals. If the Bengals are going to make it interesting, time to start acting like they belong. If they win, they get to 4-6. What of those that need to start losing? Jax hosts SD and Tenn is at Denver on Monday night. Both losable games for those two teams. The Browns are at the Ravens, and that should be one grumpy Baltimore team looking to take it out on someone at this point. Another loseable game for a team ahead of us. The Bills? Have to play the Pats. Figure an "L" for them. KC's at Indy, and the Colts are all of a sudden needing to win every week to try and preserve a bye in the playoffs (Steelers are pushing them). Looks like an "L" is a possibility for Indy too, for certain.If everything breaks right next week, and the oddsmakers will be favoring things breaking right, the Bengals could be within two games of the last Wild Card spot with six games to play. And the season would be, at that point, still relevant.What of Week 12?Week 12 is a biggie for this dream. The Bengals host the Titans Week 12. Win that, and Cincy is all of a sudden 5-6, and potentially just one game out of the Wild Card. Toss in Buffalo's game at Jax, and one of the problem teams ahead of Cincy will have to lose. Baltimore is at SD, and looking at an L, at which point we would pass them on tiebreakers. Cleveland (hosting Houston) and KC have winnable games, but if everything breaks right, enough will have happened to put Cincy back into absolute relevance. A mere two weeks from now.What of Week 13?Week 13 is the problematic one. If everything has broken right, the Bengals are 5-6 and relevant. The difficulty? Other than Jax (at Indy) most of Cincy's playoff foes have winnable weeks (except for B'more against NE and maybe Buffalo at Washington). The Bengals' issue? At Pittsburgh. The solution? Beat those f**ks. What makes that not necessarily a pipe dream? Chris Henry being back (assuming no further suspendable shenanigans). The Steelers already struggle with Cincy's passing game. Add in Henry, and the Bengals match up better. Playing at Heinz does not bother Cincy generally. If the Bengals win that one to get to 6-6, then all bets are off, and the season is back to supreme relevance. With a four week sprint to the playoffs, we would have a legit shot at it.That is as far as I will look ahead. A three week chunk back to meaningfulness. They can do it (at least for the next two weeks), and the schedule of the teams they need to lose toughens up considerably.Weird to say, the season is not necessarily over just yet.Yes, I fully recognize with that defense that they could easily find a way to lose any given week. But if they back into some competence defensively at some point? Just enough to give the offense with Henry a chance to control games? If then, the season still has a pulse.Peace. Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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