First the good thing, then the unbelievable thing.
The good thing is that the Cincinnati Bengals eeked out a 20-17 win over the Denver Broncos on Sunday. The unbelievable thing is that the Bengals, now 4-6, are only one game behind the sixth seed for the final AFC wild card spot. Several other teams are in the mix as well, and there’s a lot of football left to play. But the mere fact that the team still has a chance at the postseason makes us feel like Uma Thurman after she got that adrenaline shot in Pulp Fiction.
The win was uglier than John Travolta thrusting a needle into your heart, but we’ll take it.
How Things Went
If you read the final stats without seeing the game, you’d roll your eyes, groan, and think ‘typical Bengals.’ Cincinnati generated less than 200 yards of total offense. The running game needed a syringe to the chest. The offensive line gave up two sacks and eight tackles for loss. Somehow, though, Andy Dalton threw three TD passes and the Bengals didn’t trail after taking the lead with 12:55 to go in the second quarter. Vontaze Burfict notched 12 tackles to lead the D.
Cincinnati Bengals Player of the Game
We’ll go with Dre Kirkpatrick (insert smile here). He picked off a Brock Osweiler pass in the end zone and returned it 101 yards … and still didn’t score. Which brings us back to that smile. On the 20-yard line, the ball jumped out of Kirk’s hands, untouched, like a poodle who realizes his owner is taking him to the vet. He fell on the ball at the one. Dalton threw a short touchdown pass on the ensuing “drive”, so hopefully he bought Kirk a beer after the game to thank him for the gift.
What This Means Going Forward
Each member of the Cincinnati Bengals should read that part about only being one game out of the playoff spot. They should copy it, tape it to the back wall of their lockers, and get temporary tattoos of it on their forearms. Achieving that will require better numbers than the team got today, but it can be done.