How dire are things with the Bengals sitting at 1-3? How important is Sunday's game against the Bills?
Check out the start of this column from Paul Daugherty of the Cincinnati Enquirer (boldface his):
THE SEASON IS NOW for the Cincinnati Bengals.
They’ve (barely) survived the fetal-position portion of the schedule, and this week the proceedings get dire. That’s what happens when you have playoff notions and you start 0-3.
The more I look at Men-Bills, the more it appears a crucial, swing game. The NFL loves to give hope to the seemingly downtrodden. (Except in the case of the Browns, whom the NFL just flogs with abandon.)
The Bengals have rediscovered some offensive mojo, albeit for a half against an OK defense and a full game against a bad, injured one. On Sunday, they play a top-10 crew. We’ll discover what’s live and what’s Memorex. (Lookitup, kids.)
The 2017 story could be written as soon as Game 6 at Pittsburgh. Lose to the Bills and Steelers, drop to 1-5 and say goodbye in advance to MLewis and his entire staff. (Excepting Paul Alexander, whom I believe is a Bengal coach-for-life if he so chooses.) Win two, get right back in the game. Split two (the most likely scenario) stare down the barrel of a 2-4 start and a probable need to finish 8-2 to make January. Anyone see this team winning eight of 10 in this league?