After a gut-wrenching loss to Pittsburgh and a blowout defeat at Kansas City, Cincinnati needs a win in the worst way to keep their playoff hopes alive. A win this week would put the Bengals at 5-3 going into the second half of the season and very much in the playoff race.
A loss, however, would make the Bengals 4-4 with a three-game losing streak for the third-straight season. The last two times this happened, the Bengals did not make the playoffs, putting even more importance on Sunday.
But this is also an important game for the Bucs, who enter the week at 3-3 and are staying alive in the postseason race, but a loss here would severely damage those hopes in a loaded NFC South.
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