|ESPN||10||13||WR Jerome Simpson would jump for joy again if the Bengals make the playoffs. (James Walker)|
|NFL.com||10||11||Win and in. Can’t ask for a better situation for this team, a group which has struggled against good teams. Well, they’ll have to beat the Ravens to get ‘er done. What more can a Bengals fan ask for? Beating what’s considered the best team in the division in the Ravens, and possibly the best in the AFC, rubber stamps the postseason approval for Cincy.|
|Pro Football Talk||8||12||Andy Dalton gets one more chance to show that he can beat a division rival other than the Browns.|
|CBS Sports (Pete Prisco)||11||14||Beat the Ravens and they are in the playoffs. That would be a special season. Too bad the Bengals fans haven’t seen much of it.|
|NFLmocks.com||12||13||The Bengals wish the season ended last week. Now they have to take on the Baltimore Ravens, in a game the Ravens need. This game very well could be the difference between the Ravens having a first round bye and a home playoff game and traveling on the road to Houston in the first week of the playoffs. Good luck, Bengals.|
|Yahoo! Sports||11||13||Struggling to fill seats despite a “win and in” Week 17 scenario.|
|FOX Sports (Brian Billick)||10||13||I knew that quarterback Andy Dalton, receiver A.J. Green and tight end Jermaine Gresham were good players. But after calling their game on Saturday, I am even more excited about this young core of talent. Now if only the fans could be just as excited. For a team that controls its own fate for the postseason, I never expected to see a stadium at only 60 percent capacity. Come on, Cincinnati, get behind your team!|
At this point in time, either ninth or tenth is probably the most accurate representation of where the Bengals fit in the NFL. They should be above all six 8-7 teams (Cowboys, Giants, Broncos, Raiders, Titans, Jets), and the big question that most NFL experts faced was whether the 9-6 Bengals are better than the 9-6 Falcons or the 10-5 Texans. I think they are better than both teams right now, especially the disappearing Texans. Some experts put the 8-7 Giants in over the Bengals, which I think is unfair. The Giants have lost 4 of their last 6 games and hardly have any momentum. The Giants lost four straight only a few weeks ago.
Regardless, the Bengals can shoot up the rankings this week with a win over the consensus fifth-ranked Baltimore Ravens. The Ravens have been pretty shaky in the past two weeks, getting hammered by the San Diego Chargers and barely squeaking by the Cleveland Browns last week at home. I think the Bengals take the win this week, helped by the home crowd which has a shot at being a sell-out crowd after incredible ticket sales in the past few days.