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Bengals: Unless there's a significant increase in ticket sales, game against Houston unlikely to sellout

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It was funny. After the Bengals beat the Ravens Sunday, I sent a friend a text saying, "Do you believe yet?" He responds, "Who-Dey Morpheus" (if you don't get the reference, watch the Matrix). Like most people, he's hesitant (my friend, not Morpheus) to get on board with the Bengals right now. It's the whole, they always break your heart defense mechanism. Fool me once, shame on me. Fool me twice, shame on you. Fool me about 20 times, then shame on, well, Mike Brown? Are the Bengals going to make the playoffs? I'll bet if you ask yourself that, then the defense mechanism kicks into gear. "Well, we're only 4-1 and there's a lot of football to play." That's the funny thing about belief. Or faith. There's no reasoning behind believing what you believe in. You just do it. The more your annual belief is broken, the more you resist the urge to believe. So the question is now, do you believe now?

Apparently, many don't. Even with wins against the Browns, the Ravens, the Packers and the Steelers, the Bengals have announced that a blackout will be likely against the Houston Texans unless there's a "significant increase" in sales this week.

Without “a significant increase” in the pace of ticket sales this week, Sunday’s Bengals vs. Houston game at Paul Brown Stadium will not be a sellout, the team’s ticket office announced today.

Under NFL policy, if the 1 p.m. Sunday game is not sold out 72 hours before kickoff -- by 1 p.m. this Thursday -- the CBS television broadcast will be blacked out in the Bengals home market, which includes Cincinnati, Dayton and Lexington, Ky.

UPDATE: Joe Reedy writes that the amount of tickets available against the Houston Texans "is closer to 7,000"

UPDATE II: Now it's just getting embarrassing.

Let's see if we understand this one. The Cincinnati Bengals are one of the hottest teams in the league, perched atop the AFC North at 4-1, despite the presence of the Ravens and Steelers. After winning two hard-fought road games, the Bengals return home for a game against the Texans. And they might not sell out Paul Brown Stadium.