The great thing about the bye week is that it gives us bloggers seemingly unlimited time to speculate about the future prospects of our club. I've heard the world "Super-Bowl" thrown around a few times, and though the mere sound of it is more seductive than the Ben-Gals 2009 calendar, I feel a strong pull to come back down to earth and join the rest of the world. So, after doing some fact checking and cross referencing my sources, not to mention a little bit of computer hacking and light treason, I was able to discover that there is football going on this week, without the Bengals! So keeping this in mind I turned my attention the rest of the NFL.
I've heard some bloggers mentioning that they might elect to go into a vegetable state of hibernation this upcoming bye week, but my contention is that the bye-week will have as much implications for the Bengals as a game-week would. With that in mind, I turn our attention to the matchups that might be of consequence to the Bengals sometime down the road. If you have any colors that vaguely represent the Raiders, the Dolphins, the Bills or the Broncos in your closet then you might want to wear them, or if you have some friends who inexplicably are fans of those teams, then you might want to go support them. Let me explain why.
Houston Texans at Buffalo Bills - If you've been listening to the Bengals buzz around the blogosphere, you've probably heard that the Texans are among the teams that could compete for a Wild Card ticket into the playoffs. Judging by the state of the Bills, I'm thinking that the odds of a wild card spot should increase after this week for the Texans. It looks like our very own Ryan Fitz-"5 yard passes scare me" Patrick is going to start at QB for the Bills, so I wouldn't hold your breath for an upset, but you might as well cheer for the former Bengal (Something we could barely muster when he was here).
Miami Dolphins at New York Jets - Though the Dolphins haven't looked great this year, they did almost beat the Saints last week (and I emphasize the almost). The Jets are another team that could compete for a wild card spot, so the more games they lose the better. Can the Dolphins pull out a minor upset here? I think they've got a shot at it, so don't be afraid to support our reefered-out friend Ricky Williams against Rex Ryan's new club.
Denver Broncos at Baltimore Ravens - I still don't think that anybody is taking the Broncos that seriously despite the fact that they've beaten New England, San Diego, Dallas and us. These guys are good, but they are still the trendy pick to be upset this week by Baltimore (SB nation at least is predicting a Baltimore Win here). The last thing we want is for Baltimore to start catching up to us in the division (or compete for a wild card spot), so cheer loudly for those Broncos! Being the underdog has worked for Denver to this point, so here's to hoping it lasts! I never thought I'd say this, but "Go Orton!"
Oakland Raiders at San Diego Chargers - Don't get confused, if you see a lot of black and silver zombies in the stands, it could just be people recovering from their Halloween hangovers - not Raiders fans. Somehow Oakland upset a good Eagles club a few weeks ago, but unless Jamarcus Russel decides to dress up as Joe Montana (or at least Rich Gannon) for Halloween, then I don't see a lot of hope for the Raiders. However, if anybody knows about resurrected careers, it's the Bengals very own Cedric Benson, so let's hope those Raiders take down a 3-3 Chargers team that will likely have to hope for a wild card spot in the playoffs.
So I beg all of you, don't give up on football just because it's the Bengals bye week! Find that team to cheer for 'cause it might end up winning us a trip to the playoffs.