Cincinnati Bengals: Getting to 4-4 Verses 3-5 After London

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Oct 22, 2016; London, United Kingdom; General view of NFL Duke Wilson football and the Big Ben clock tower and the Houses of Parliament and the Palace of Westminster prior to game 16 of the NFL International Series between the New York Giants and the Los Angeles Rams. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 22, 2016; London, United Kingdom; General view of NFL Duke Wilson football and the Big Ben clock tower and the Houses of Parliament and the Palace of Westminster prior to game 16 of the NFL International Series between the New York Giants and the Los Angeles Rams. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports /
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The Cincinnati Bengals have a chance to move to 4-4 on Sunday, as they host the Washington Redskins in London. What will it mean for the Bengals to move to 4-4 instead of falling to 3-5 before the bye?

The Cincinnati Bengals won with great play to end the second quarter and continued the momentum into the second half against the Cleveland Browns. The best part about the win on Sunday was the realization, they are only one game behind the Pittsburgh Steelers for first in the division, as they dropped to the New England Patriots three hours later. ‘

The Bengals are now 3-4 and tied for second place in the division with the Baltimore Ravens. The Ravens will face the Steelers on Sunday and could make a three way tie for first by the end on Sunday. The Bengals will head to London to host the Redskins and could help themselves heading into their week nine bye.

On Thursday’s Men in Stripes podcast, it was discussed about how much 4-4 would mean to this Bengals team. In fact, I went as far to say that a 4-4 record would allow them a fresh start after the bye week. An opportunity to regain themselves and make a run at the playoffs and the AFC North. It is a statement I still stand by, even if the Steelers pull out a win against the Ravens.

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After their week nine bye, the Bengals have four remaining division games The other four remaining are against the New York Giants, Buffalo Bills, Philadelphia Eagles, and Houston Texans. Only one of those games are putting the Bengals as a large underdogs at this point, against the Eagles.

This means the Bengals have a good chance of winning 5 to 6 games and finishing above .500 record. It would also give them a shot at the AFC North crown or a wildcard slot. They are very much in the race with a win on Sunday.

However, on the opposite side, a loss on Sunday could be devastating. Going into the bye week with a 3-5 record is a large uphill climb. It’s one the Bengals will have trouble getting over, even if they are only one game behind the Steelers and Ravens. The Bengals would looking at 8-8 or 9-7 record, which could miss the playoffs all together.

I called the Bengals schedule a must win situation for the rest of the season. Now losing one or two games will not end the season, especially after the bye week, but a loss against the Redskins would put them in a bad place before the bye. It could very well, change the dynamic of the Bengals game plan, and desperation is something they need to have on their own, not forced.

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The Bengals have one week before a much needed rest. It is the most pivotal week to this point in their season, as it reaches half way. A win against the Redskins, and the Bengals have a brand new season. A loss, and the season will seem all but over.

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