Get used to hearing this for the final five weeks: The Bengals are an underdog.
With A.J. Green injured and Andy Dalton now on injured reserve, there aren’t many NFL teams that Cincinnati would be favored against this week. That includes the Broncos, who will come into Paul Brown Stadium as a comfortable favorite.
Riding a two-game winning streak, Denver opened as a four-point favorite in most sportsbooks, according to Vegas Insider. Some oddsmakers have Denver favored by as many as five points, which seems odd when you see they are just 5-6 this season and going against a 5-6 Bengals team in their own building.
But the reality is this Bengals team is far from the one that started the year 4-1 now that Dalton is out, and there’s still no indication as to when Green could return.
Oh, and the defense is still historically bad. All of this together is going to lead to Cincinnati being an underdog in likely every remaining game other than the Raiders at PBS in Week 15.
While everyone is counting Cincinnati out now, they’re still technically alive for a playoff spot. Heck, they could finish Week 13 tied for a Wild Card spot if they win and the Colts and Ravens both lose.
This team still has something to play for. The question is, do they have enough left in the tank to keep their playoff hopes alive?