This is how the Cincinnati Bengals will make the playoffs.
First things first, they have to win out. The problem is they don’t have a streak longer than one-and-a-half games. If you can call a win followed by a tie a streak. The Bengals are a few missed kicks and some questionable turnovers from being 8-4. They are who they are, but there was a revelation last Sunday against the Eagles.
They pressed gently with their cleats right over the Eagles throats. Maybe they are better because of A.J. Green‘s injury and Giovani Bernard going on IR. Addition by subtraction, which is causing other players to step up. Tyler Boyd, Cody Core and Brandon Lafell, even Rex Burkhead can fill in what their lacking. Benching Cedric Ogbuehi, their right tackle liability, was huge.
The Bengals defense also stepped up, although they may have given up a few 3rd and longs, but they were all over the field on Sunday. Led by Vontaze Burfict, love him or hate him, clean or questionable, he is the heart of the defense. When he leads, the defense follows from batting balls, pressuring the quarterback, intercepting 3 balls, and dropping an additional 3. This was their best defensive game start to finish.
However, they can’t do it alone. The Baltimore Ravens must lose three of their last four games. It’s not an unrealistic idea since both of those teams have had four-game losing streaks. The fact that the Bengals still get both the Steelers and the Ravens in Cincinnati, means one potential loss for each.
The Ravens get the New England Patriots Monday night in Foxborough so that’s two potential losses. Pittsburgh goes to Buffalo, who are coming off a blown lead against the Raiders and they’re at home. They have a shifty running back that can catch the ball out of the backfield in LeSean McCoy. They have a mobile quarterback that’s better out the pocket. They also have one deep threat receiver and let’s not forget the Steelers play down to competition.
So what would be the Baltimore Ravens third loss? I’m taking a flyer on the Philadelphia Eagles. Baltimore and Philadelphia are only an hour and a half from each other. Remember what they did to Pittsburgh? So hopefully all the stars align and the Cincinnati Bengals go streaking into the playoffs.
I’m not guaranteeing anything, but I called successfully predicted the Cleveland Cavaliers breaking their streak, and the Chicago Cubs breaking their streak. All that’s left is the Cincinnati Bengals raising the Lombardi trophy February 5th. Believe in your Bengals because anything is possible.