While Not Calling It A Must-Win The Cincinnati Bengals Must Beat The Cleveland Browns

Jamie Sabau - Getty Images

The Cincinnati Bengals head into Cleveland at 3-2 following a disappointing four-point loss to the Miami Dolphins.

There are plenty of those that overreact in our little Bengals community, transforming from a purveyor of optimism heading into Week One to the saturation of self-defeated negativity because the Bengals lost by 31 points last month. Then there are those that equally underreact, standing in defiance of a single game played months before the postseason lineup settles with 12 qualified teams.

Yet one could argue both reactions are equally understandable.

Despite there being 15 regular seasons remaining, Cincinnati's loss to the Baltimore Ravens may ultimately impact the Bengals chances to win the AFC North. Granted. Anything could happen from now until January. Baltimore could suffer substantial injuries, slipping on a damp sidewalk leading into the second half of the season and thus leaving the door open for another. As it stands the Bengals are two games behind the Ravens when factoring the loss and resulting tiebreaker implications, which may resolve during the regular season finale between both teams. It's too early to weigh such hearty arguments and it will be too early still one month from today.

On the other hand.

Though Cincinnati's 17-13 loss to the Miami Dolphins could have be an aberration, it could invite serious postseason implications in regards to tiebreakers. Or if Miami is far more "real" than anyone expects, the head-to-head tiebreaker. Rarely do those scenarios enter into people's minds in mid-October, choosing to look to tomorrow and then looking back when tomorrow arrives.

But these premature discussions could breathe dragon's breath if the Cincinnati Bengals are unable to leave Cleveland Stadium this weekend without a win. Along with failing to capture wins in consecutive weeks against teams with a combined 1-8 record when Cincinnati played them, the Bengals would fall to 3-3 with a slate of games against the Pittsburgh Steelers (twice), the Denver Broncos, the New York Giants, San Diego Chargers, Dallas Cowboys, Philadelphia Eagles and the concluding regular season finale against the Baltimore Ravens.

Despite being injured and struggling at 2-3 to start the NFL season, the Pittsburgh Steelers will come into Sunday Night's game next weekend with a four game winning streak against the Bengals, the same team that's never beaten Peyton Manning on seven tries, only won one in six games when played in San Diego, that's lost three of the past four against the Giants and three of the past five against the Eagles. Sure Cincinnati will break trends; that was the rage last year. But it must start with a swing of momentum that's developed this weekend against the Cleveland Browns.

We could easily argue that this weekend isn't a must-win. None of you would believe it. In fact it may be one of the single solitary thoughts entering this weekend, without the disclosure of admittance of having a suggestive must-win thought so early this season. If anything the Bengals need tiebreakers while winning division games, beating a team that everyone else has beaten. And they can't fall to 3-3 with a tough stretch of games coming on the schedule.

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join Cincy Jungle

You must be a member of Cincy Jungle to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Cincy Jungle. You should read them.

Join Cincy Jungle

You must be a member of Cincy Jungle to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Cincy Jungle. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9341_tracker