Of course, some of us remember how well that went over with Indianapolis head coach Jim Mora in 2001.
“Playoffs? Don’t talk about playoffs. You kidding me? Playoffs? I just hope we can win a game. Another game.”
Trust me, coach, I’m not talking about playoffs. But some of the oddsmakers are.
In fact, according to The Extra Point, the Bengals’ 3-1 record gives them a 67% chance of making the playoffs. The odds have been calculated based on the new 17-game season, along with the NFL’s expanded 14-team playoff system.
The site simulated 10,000 17-game NFL seasons and factored in historical estimates of team strength.
If Cincinnati is able to pull off a victory next Sunday when Green Bay comes to town, its playoff odds would improve to 77%. A win the following week at Detroit would boost those odds to 85% going into the October 25 showdown at Baltimore.
Of course, a loss here and there would dramatically change those odds. Should the Bengals fall to the Packers next Sunday, their playoff odds would drop to 55%. A Lions victory would see those odds tumble to 42%.
But, of course, The Extra Point is not the only game in town.
PlayoffStatus.com took a stab at it, as well, and has Cincinnati, on the strength of its 3-1 record, with a 58% chance of advancing into the first round of the playoffs. But the Bengals have only a 34% chance of making it to the second round.
Pretty heady stuff. But what does it all mean? At this point, absolutely nothing.
Because, as we all know, it’s not how you start the season. It’s how you finish.