Bengals Early Bird Special: With Loss to Steelers, Playoff Hopes Take Hit

PITTSBURGH, PA - DECEMBER 04: Mike Wallace #17 of the Pittsburgh Steelers runs into the endzone to score a touchdown against the Cincinnati Bengals in the second half during the game on December 4, 2011 at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)

Good morning Bengals Nation. It's Tuesday which means the worst day of the week is finally over. I don't care what anyone says, but Monday is absolutely the worst day of the week. Hands down. Enough said.

What happened on Sunday? I thought it was going to be a competitive game, but that was hardly the case as the Bengals were trounced by the Steelers 35-7. Quick recap, second quarter woes killed the Bengals. That is all you need to know about the game.

With the loss on Sunday the Bengals still remain in the hunt for a wild card spot in the playoffs. The chances of them winning the division this season look bleak due to the fact that the Steelers have "easier" opponents for the remainder of the season. Three out of their remaining four games are against opponents that are a combined 6-18 (they play Cleveland two times). Whereas the Bengals have two of their remaining four games against opponents that are a combined 18-6. So let's forget about winning the division because that won't happen this season. But there's still a chance that they will claim one of the two wild card slots.

As it stands, the Bengals would make the playoffs as the second wild card team because they have a better winning percentage in conference games compared to the Tennessee Titans, Oakland Raiders, and New York Jets, the three teams behind them attempting to make the playoffs.

But when looking at each schedule for those four teams, I believe the Bengals have the best chance to make it. They have two opponents in the Rams and Cardinals that are games they are more than capable of winning as long as they don't hit the self-destruct button. They end the season against the Ravens which is probably the game that concerns me the most.

As for everyone else, the Jets have lost to some teams that they should have beat and Mark Sanchez doesn't impress me. He's too inconsistent with his passing and decision making. Tennessee also has been inconsistent and they lost to Jacksonville to open the season. That's just embarrassing. And Oakland has been a surprise team. I don't think anyone anticipated them to play like this entering the season and I don't envision Carson Palmer leading them to the playoffs.

But anyways, let's hope the Bengals don't look too far into the future and lose focus of this week's game against the Houston Texans. The quarterback carousel continues with rookie T.J. Yates stepping in for Matt Schaub and Matt Leinart who are both out for the season. I like the Bengals chances to rebound from past Sunday's ugly loss and to be able to regain some confidence that has probably taken a toll over the past four weeks.

Alright here is what you may have missed or overlooked from Monday.

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