User ID
Password
  Forgot User ID
or Register Today!
VegasInsider.com
Follow Us on Facebook Follow Us on Twitter Follow Us on Google+ VI Mobile Scores and Betting Odds
Home
NFL
NBA
NHL
MLB
NCAA FB
NCAA BK
Soccer
Boxing/MMA
Horses
More
Betting Tools

 
Bengals stay in playoff chase with win

New Sportsbook.ag customers: Make your 1st bet, get your 2nd bet free, 100%, winnings paid in cash.
Join Now

Already have an account? Click here to view new Exclusive Rewards!

CINCINNATI (AP) - A ragged win on the West Coast has given the Bengals a sense that everything is coming together with the playoffs on the line.

Advertisement
Even coach Marvin Lewis sees them as a team on the rise.

A 20-13 win in San Diego on Sunday gave Cincinnati (7-5) a four-game winning streak and kept the Bengals in the middle of the playoff chase. They remained tied with Pittsburgh for the second AFC wild card, although the Steelers currently hold the tiebreaker because they won in Cincinnati this season.

The Bengals have turned into one of the NFL's hottest teams - their four wins have come by 18, 22, 24 and 7 points - at the right time.

``This team is getting better each week,'' receiver A.J. Green said. ``A lot of people said it was out of our reach to make the playoffs, but I feel like we have momentum on our side coming down the home stretch of the season.''

It could come down to the last two games against the AFC North teams they've been trying to catch for years.

The Bengals play at home on Sunday against Dallas (6-6) and the following Thursday at Philadelphia (3-9), which is tied for worst record in the NFC. They finish with games at Pittsburgh and home against AFC North leading Baltimore (9-3).

The Steelers beat the Ravens 23-20 on Sunday behind third-string quarterback Charlie Batch, chopping Baltimore's three-game lead to only two. Suddenly, the division title is up for grabs with four games left.

``We're obviously in the hunt for this thing,'' quarterback Andy Dalton said.

Even Lewis, who is careful not to give his team much praise after a win, referred to the Bengals as a ``rising'' team after they overcame three turnovers in San Diego and pulled it out in the fourth quarter. It was the first time since September that Cincinnati had to pull one out at the end.

His biggest concern on Monday was that his team doesn't let it all go to their heads.

``We were able to kind of shake the cobwebs a little bit and break up the glee club, because we've got to do better,'' Lewis said. ``It wasn't good enough yesterday in a lot of areas.

``Everybody is patting them on their backs about what they're doing. Well, we haven't done anything. We just got back to even, and now we have to move forward. These last four are what counts.''

The win in San Diego was a significant step. The Bengals played their sloppiest game in a month, turning the ball over three times. Dalton had an interception returned for San Diego's only touchdown. The defense allowed the Chargers to drive inside the Cincinnati 20-yard line in the final minutes before getting an interception.

The Bengals have a young offense that will be playing under its biggest pressure the next four weeks.

``There's still a lot of young players playing a lot of football,'' Lewis said. ``Three rookies started on offense yesterday (center Trevor Robinson, guard Kevin Zeitler, receiver Marvin Jones). That's a lot. That tells you where we are with things. You have to realize that.''

Last season, the Bengals, who finished 9-7, reached the playoffs as a wild card despite losing three of their last five games. With the weak AFC - Cincinnati is one of only seven teams with a winning record - there's a chance to get in again, though it will probably require a better finish than last year.

``I think we are a far better football team than we were last year when we finished the season,'' Lewis said.

---

NOTES: Rookie WR Mohamed Sanu had surgery Monday on his broken left foot, ending his season. Sanu hurt his foot in practice last Thursday. Sanu had been emerging as a complement to Green, starting the last two games. Overall, he caught 16 passes for 154 yards and four touchdowns, ran five times for 15 yards and threw a 73-yard TD pass to Green. ... Lewis had no updated information on the severity of RB Cedric Peerman's sprained ankle from Sunday.

---

Online: http://pro32.ap.org/poll and http://twitter.com/AP-NFL

AP NEWS
The Associated Press News Service

Copyright 2014
The Associated Press
All Rights Reserved

  
HEADLINES
Sportsbook: Sunday's Top Action
Sportsbook: SNF - Bengals at Steelers
Simo: Cowboys, Seahawks hurt books
Nelson: 4th Quarter Covers - Week 16
News: Betting Recap - Week 16
News: Win Total Update
Kaepernick weighing offseason approach
Eagles have QB questions going into '15
Jordan fitting in at linebacker for 'Fins
MORE HEADLINES
 
Why Buy Picks From VegasInsider.com
NFL Pro Football Handicapper Sports Picks Records
NFL Hot Streaks
8-4 L2 Sundays, +2,162 TY
9-2 L11 Picks, 14-5 L3 Sundays
9-1 L2 Sundays, 15-4 L4 Sundays
13-2 L3 Sundays, 48-24 L72 Run
12-4 L5 Sundays, 19-8 L27 Picks
19-12 +763 L31, +1,339 TY
15-7 L12 Sundays, 26-12 Run
14-5 L19 Over/Under Plays
5-1 L6 Picks, 11-4 L2 Sundays
9-5 L14 G-Plays, 17-8 L25 Totals
4-0 Record Last Sunday
3-1 Sun., 15-7 L22 Guarantees
17-6 Guarantees This Year
7-2 L9 Picks, 6-2 L8 Guarantees
6-3 Record L2 Sundays
11-5 L16 Totals, 4-2 L6 G-Plays
NFL Pro Football Expert Sports Picks - Cleveland Browns at Baltimore Ravens
2014 NFL SEASON PICK RECORDS
Money Leaders
Handicapper Money
Bruce Marshall + 2162
Antony Dinero + 1378
Joe Williams + 1339
Last Week's Leaders
Handicapper Money
Vince Akins + 680
Stephen Nover + 390
Jimmy Boyd + 370
Percentage Leaders
Handicapper Pct
Doc's Sports 60 %
Bruce Marshall 58 %
The Gold Sheet 58 %
Guaranteed Leaders
Handicapper Money
Mike Rose + 1035
Bruce Marshall + 966
Marc Lawrence + 735
Over-Under Leaders
Handicapper Money
Antony Dinero + 1422
Hank Goldberg + 845
Brian Edwards + 444
Member Leaders
Handicapper Money
Bruce Marshall + 1474
The Gold Sheet + 1381
Kevin Rogers + 693
MORE PICK RECORDS
  
corner graphic
With a VI Gold Membership, you can SAVE 10% off a Live Odds subscription, SAVE 20% off Daily Pick packages, and receive access to up to 1,000 Member Plays each month!
2014 VI College Bowl Betting Guide