Basically all Bengals fans figured that their next best chance at winning a football game would come in the final two weeks of the season (or next September). Cleveland is arguably the league's biggest disappointment based on preseason expectations, though they did pull out an impressive 21-point Monday Night victory against the Giants (not that that matters now). The Kansas City Chiefs are in the midst of a complete rebuilding/overhaul season and didn't figure to compete in the AFC West (or anywhere else for that matter).
You start reading into the collision of minds, philosophy and all that jazz with the Washington Redskins. This AP piece simply says that they're a mess. "Clinton Portis got benched and got even, derisively calling his rookie head coach a genius. The offensive line meetings have turned into meet-and-greet sessions. The record? Getting worse each week." From PFT:
Per a league source, the players perceive an attitude from Zorn that, when the team wins a game, it ’s because of Zorn. And that when they lose a game, it’s because of the players. The sense is that Zorn views himself as an elite coach after less than a year on the job — and despite a dramatic dip in the team’s performance after an unexpectedly strong start that had owner Dan Snyder whooping it up after back-to-back road wins against the Cowboys and the Eagles.
We're not suggesting that the Bengals will win this game, but there is an outside shot. Relatively speaking, outside shot would be like standing somewhere in Antarctica; though we're not standing on Titan, like we were against the Colts. A team perceived in turmoil (the guys at Hogs Haven believe it's being sensationalized a little by the media), while fighting hard for a playoff spot. Could the Redskins overlook the Bengals, who are playing at home to dig up whatever respectability remains, playing to win with nothing to lose?