The Bengals and Ravens both had very important primetime games this past week and both walked away feeling very different about their playoff/super bowl chances. But when you take into account each team's performance, save for the fact that the Ravens won and the Bengals lost, should anyone really feel more inspired by the Ravens than they do the Bengals?
The Ravens won on 6 FIELD GOALS, and this against a mediocre defense in a game that they absolutely had to win (as every remaining game is for Baltimore); it took a monstrous effort by a kicker for Baltimore to continue their postseason push.
The Bengals lost while being dominated for much of the game by a Pittsburgh Steelers team with little to play for. However, anyone who pays attention to the AFC North knows that no matter what these teams records are, things tend to get pretty interesting in division games. The Bengals defense also allowed only THREE second half points to the Steelers, and were also damaged by poor special teams play; i.e. - punt return touchdown, dropped snap on 1/2 yard line.
I guess the point of my post is that it is very hard for me to understand how suddenly people seem so confident in the Ravens, who failed to score a single touchdown against the Lions, as opposed to the Bengals, who, once again, faced with EXTREME adversity, were a failed 2-point conversion attempt away from turning a blowout into a very interesting game. I get that there is history with the franchises and coaches and all of those things, but how long can the national media and people within our own circle of fans continue to lean on those things? We have a favorable game this week while the Ravens play a much tougher opponent, and even if it does come down to our week 17 matchup with the Ravens, I like to think that we can compete and WIN against a team who can't even put up ONE MEASLY TOUCHDOWN against the league's 16th ranked scoring defense.