Heading into Sunday's games, the Bengals were certain to face a gathering storm from Baltimore with the Ravens closing-in on their division lead in the AFC North. With a win, the Bengals will remain two games ahead of Baltimore with four remaining. A loss makes things a bit uncomfortable.
Cincinnati could have also improved their position in the playoff picture, assuming that they will win Sunday's game. The New England Patriots, currently the No. 2 seed in the AFC, played the Texans in Houston while the Indianapolis Colts hosted the Tennessee Titans.
If both teams had lost, Cincinnati would move up to the second seed with a win in San Diego. If either team had lost, Cincinnati would have moved to the third seed (no matter the scenario).
Instead, the Titans and Texans were about as helpful a cactus tree in the middle of a nude beach. New England beat the Texans 34-31 while the Colts received some fourth-quarter production from Donald Brown and the Colts running game, giving Indianapolis a 22-14 win.
While Cincinnati could lose a game off their division lead in the AFC North, they can't lose first position. Nor can they improve their position in the AFC playoff picture.