USA Today: "Ripped for 500 yards twice in past four games, defense better step it up or Cincy will flame out again even if Andy Dalton finally shines in clutch." [SOURCE]
Speaking of USA Today, writers are split on the division champion in the AFC North. Lindsay Jones, Tom Pelissero, Lorenzo Reyes and Gary Mihoces are picking the Bengals to win the division. Nate Davis, Jarrett Bell and Jim Corbett are picking the Ravens. At least Bell has the Bengals as a wild card team (Corbett and Davis picked the Steelers over Cincinnati).
If there's a backup of the year, wide receiver Mohamed Sanu deserves heavy recognition.
The MMQB offered a postseason prediction at the midseason point, writing that the Bengals (9-6-1 and the AFC North champions) will lose to the San Diego Chargers in the wild card round.
AFC Wild Card: The big Wild-Card weekend headline is Andy Dalton, Marvin Lewis and the Bengals continuing their playoff drought. The Bengals lose at home to the Chargers for a second straight year.
The National Football Post calls the AFC North a "dogfight".
Cincinnati’s season sweep of Baltimore could loom large in determining the division champion. The drawback to the competitiveness within the division is the number of teams that make the playoffs may be limited. A combined 12-5-1 record outside of the division suggests there should be at least one AFC North wild card team.