The Bengals have been very competitive over the last month, which had led to a rise in fan confidence as the calendar turned to December.
After suffering five losses by double digits in their first nine games, the Bengals have had four one-score losses and a win over the Jets since Week 11. That was enough for the FanPulse confidence level to get back to 25% (baby steps, people) for the first time since Week 5.
A win over the Patriots would certainly give fans the biggest shot of confidence they’ve had in quite some time, but there’s a reason the defending Super Bowl champs are favored by double digits in Cincinnati. This is easily one of the most challenging games of the Bengals’ season, so even a competitive loss would likely give fans more confidence as the season winds down.
But even if that doesn’t happen, the Bengals have a chance for a nice finish against a three-win Dolphins team, then face a Browns team that’s likely out of the playoff mix and have nothing to play for under a lame-duck coach. The Bengals should win at least one of those games and give fans some hope for better days in 2020.