VegasInsider.com
VI Mobile Scores and Betting OddsVI Mobile Scores and Betting Odds Be Social
Home
NFL
NBA
NHL
MLB
NCAA FB
NCAA BK
Golf
Auto
Horses
Boxing/MMA
Fantasy Sports
More
Betting Tools

 
Bengals stay in playoff chase with win

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

Copyright 2017 by STATS LLC and Associated Press.
Any commercial use or distribution without the express written
consent of STATS LLC and Associated Press is strictly prohibited.

  
HEADLINES
News: AFC West Snapshot
News: AFC South Snapshot
News: AFC North Snapshot
News: AFC East Snapshot
Rams cut DT Walker after assault accusation
Raiders reward QB Derek Carr with deal
Prosecutors appeal Hernandez outcome
Green Bay confident city can host Draft
Jets owner Johnson nominated by Trump
MORE HEADLINES
 
Why Buy Picks From VegasInsider.com
NFL Pro Football Handicapper Sports Picks Records
VegasInsider.com Gold Membership
2016 NFL SEASON PICK RECORDS
Money Leaders
Handicapper Money
Don Anthony + 2405
The Gold Sheet + 1747
Michael Black + 833
Last Week's Leaders
Handicapper Money
Jimmy Boyd + 100
Marc Lawrence + 100
Doc's Sports + 100
Percentage Leaders
Handicapper Pct
Don Anthony 65 %
The Gold Sheet 58 %
Michael Black 56 %
Guaranteed Leaders
Handicapper Money
Pat Hawkins + 1068
Don Anthony + 1067
Brian Edwards + 741
Over-Under Leaders
Handicapper Money
Joe Williams + 1301
The Gold Sheet + 808
Michael Black + 641
Member Leaders
Handicapper Money
The Gold Sheet + 1204
Jimmy Boyd + 961
John Fisher + 555
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!
VI Gold Membership