Sunday’s loss can be simply defined as gut-wrenching, but as painful as it was, it did nothing to take away the Bengals having control over their own destiny. They can still win-out and make the postseason as long as they can defeat the Pittsburgh Steelers in Week 16.
But that’s for next week. Now, the team must focus on an improving Philadelphia Eagles squad who has been very competitive since turning to Nick Foles as their starting QB, and ended a 9-game losing streak after defeating the playoff-contending Buccaneers in Tampa Bay on a game-winning touchdown pass to Jeremy Maclin, and now have their sights set on ending the Bengals’s playoff hopes on Thursday night in primetime fashion.
It’s really simple for the Bengals at this point: win or stay home for the postseason. A loss Thursday would likely mean the Bengals need to beat both Pittsburgh and Baltimore in back-to-back weeks to end the season, something they haven’t done since winning the division in 2009, and have yet to do in the Andy Dalton era (0 for 6 and 9-game losing steak overall to Ravens & Steelers). But a victory would leave them at 8-6 with 9 full days until their Week 16 showdown in Pittsburgh that may ultimately determine who goes to the playoffs.