While we all held our breath at the end of the Bengals' win over Tampa Bay, what we actually got was a little breathing room. The Bengals held on to a one point lead that turned out to be the only win an AFC North team would enjoy yesterday. The Steelers lost to the reeling Saints. The Browns were embarrassed by the Bills and the Ravens choked away a game against the Chargers. All in all, it was a great day to be a Bengals fan.
So, as it stands, the Bengals have a little bit bigger of a cushion in the North. But, as we have been reminded numerous times, they still play Pittsburgh twice and what could be the Money Manziel led Browns. As of right now the division looks like this:
The Bengals currently hold a 1.5 game division lead with four games to play. When I first ran this piece, Cincinnati was coming off the terrible loss to the Browns on Thursday night and fan confidence was low.
I still was a little shocked so many people were on the Browns bandwagon. Sure, they looked good in the game against Cincinnati, but they are still the Browns. I even commented:
Currently, the Cleveland Browns are in the drivers' seat. I am positive this will not last. The Browns are like your eight-year-old kid. They like to sit on your lap and steer, and may even back the car out of the driveway on their own sometimes. But once on the road, it doesn't end well. Much like Cleveland "driving" this division. The Browns are the cruel joke to the city of Cleveland and they always deliver.
Sure, it was a jab at the Browns, but it looks like it may have been the correct assessment at the time.
A week ago I posed the same question and once again, there was a big response. Over 5,000 of you voted, and for most of the time, the Bengals did not hold the lead in the poll. In the end, Cincinnati pulled ahead based on your votes.
An interesting note in both polls is that the Ravens hold very little favor in the eyes of Bengals fans. I would argue if not the Bengals, the Ravens have the best shot at the division title. When you look at their remaining opponents their road to the post season looks the simplest. They play the Dolphins, Jaguars, Texans and Browns. The Browns face the Colts, Bengals, Falcons and Ravens.
The Steelers face the Bengals twice and also the Chiefs and Falcons. We know the Bengals have Pittsburgh two times, the Browns and the Broncos in primetime. The Bengals' schedule makes me glad for the cushion on the other teams in the division.
This weekend looms large for some division clarity. The Browns face the Colts in a very tough matchup for them and the Bengals can all but shut the door on the Steelers if they can win at home. So I ask, once again, who takes this division this season?