In Week 17 of the 2011 NFL season, the Cincinnati Bengals faced the Baltimore Ravens on the road. That game was in no way as big as their Week 11 matchup is this Sunday because the Bengals could have finished with the best record of 5-11 and the Ravens would have finished with the worst record of 11-5.
In Week 17 of the 2010 season both of the team's top-two receivers, Chad Ochocinco and Terrell Owens, were out, which forced Jerome Simpson and Andre Caldwell into the starting spots. By the end of the game, Carson Palmer had thrown 12 passes to Simpson and seven to Caldwell.
Simpson had one of the best games of his career. His 12 receptions went for 123 yards and the team's only touchdown. Caldwell's seven receptions went for 97 yards.
As far as Caldwell is concerned, he feels more comfortable as an outside receiver instead of in the slot.
"I don’t work on it in practice that much, so I’m probably going to be out there a lot more," Caldwell said of practice. "I feel more comfortable outside. I like be out there. I feel like I can use my speed and versatility a little more out there."
Even though the bengals didn't win the game, Caldwell and Simpson's performances, if repeated, could get the Bengals a win on Sunday. That is of course if the team's No. 1 receiver A.J. Green doesn't play. If Green does play, we shouldn't have to worry so much about the team's wide receivers. However, Green missed his second straight practice on Thursday, even though, according to Joe Reedy, he looks like he's walking better.
We will know more about Green's status after the team's friday practice but for now, even if we assume the worst, the worst might not be that bad, especially if Caldwell and Simpson can do to the Ravens what they did in the last week of the 2010 season.