The Cincinnati Bengals have probably seen their best chances for a win already come and gone. The Week 1 mirage that had them nearly beat perhaps the best team in the NFC West was a nice story, but no launch to bigger and better in 2019. Games against two winless teams in Arizona and the Pittsburgh Steelers also yielded a losing result.
So who’s left? Well, the division looks weak. Pittsburgh is in a tough spot with no Ben Roethlisberger. Quarterback Lamar Jackson has come back to earth after beating up on teams like the Dolphins and Cardinals. As for the Cleveland Browns, they were embarrassed on Monday Night Football after a solid performance the prior week against the Baltimore Ravens.
A little further down the schedule, and you find yourself scratching your head. Jacksonville is a good 2-3 team and has a rookie quarterback in Gardner Minshew that will give a bad Bengals defense fits all day long.
Oakland flipped the script and is now 3-2 after beating a good Chicago Bears. The Steelers should have Mason Rudolph back in Week 12, and the Jets and Dolphins are still two months away. All this is a way of saying a lot can happen to both those teams between now and then.
Week 5 against the Cardinals was a prime opportunity to win a football game and go about finding something positive in an already tough season. Looking ahead, that may have been their best chance.