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Bengals absent during another Sunday afternoon

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The Cincinnati Bengals are inactive on Sunday afternoon for the third time since Oct. 25. How are you responding to this?

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

For the third time in four weeks, we're stuck with another damned Sunday afternoon without Bengals football. Even next week's game isn't on Sunday afternoon, an already late afternoon game (in Arizona) has been flexed to Sunday Night Football, meaning Week 12 (against the Rams) will be the first normal Sunday afternoon since Cincinnati's 16-10 win over the Pittsburgh Steelers on November 1.

Bengals week 7-10

So, how have you taken advantage of your time? We're interested. Fill out the poll below to let us know.

As for the Bengals, we want the obvious. If the Pittsburgh Steelers lose to the Cleveland Browns on Sunday, Pittsburgh's record falls to 5-5, translating to a four-game deficit to the division-leading Bengals. A Bengals win on Monday night football gives Cincinnati a 4.5 game lead with seven games remaining. If the Bengals grab another win during Sunday Night Football on Nov. 22, while the Steelers are on a bye (and win on Monday night -- assuming a lot here), it translates to a five-game lead with six games remaining.

You see the point.

Of course, we're forecasting and the one thing we've historically learned about predictions is that they have a 50/50 chance of becoming reality. Yet, despite early prognostications from others that the AFC North is already "locked up", Cincinnati's mathematical scenario to secure the AFC North really is approaching at warp speed.

As for Baltimore, if the Ravens lose to the Jaguars and the Bengals win on Monday, Cincinnati secures a seven-game lead over the birds with seven games remaining. Bah bye.

Observing the rest of the AFC, the New York Giants host the New England Patriots, who are holding onto their own undefeated record. Of course, today features a storyline that NFL pregame shows will shove down our collective throats -- the Giants are the only team to beat the Patriots in the Super Bowl during the Bill Belichick era. That being said, New England has won four of their past five regular season meetings against the Giants.

Cincinnati and New England are the lone undefeated teams in the AFC -- Denver is the only other AFC team that's more than one game over .500.