NOVEMBER 4, 2007
Even until about 17 days ago this one looked to be one of those locks in that cozy stretch between the New England and Baltimore games. But now Sunday for the Bengals has gone from very winnable to very tenuous and if they don't show up they'll end up going back down Niagara Falls.
But after switching on the lights in the film room, the Bengals.com roundtable is split on the game with the Bills that features two teams crippled with injuries and hurting defenses.
The Guru gives the edge to the Bengals because of the Bills' inability to muster any kind of offense and The Chief sides with Buffalo because the Bills are at home and have gathered some momentum with three wins in their last four games and two straight while the Bengals haven't put together any kind of skein and are 0-3 on the road.
"The biggest thing is where is Cincinnati's head?" asks The Guru, a former top football executive for an NFL club. "I think Marvin has them playing hard. I thought they gave very good effort against Pittsburgh, but I think the decision not to go for it on fourth-and-one (from the Pittsburgh 2) really hurt them. That's the big play in the game. You can't let the Steelers get up on you like that and I'm not sure what kind of message that sends. But I think the intensity they played with in that game showed that Marvin still has their attention.
"This is a winnable game on the road and it's one Cincinnati has to win simply because they haven't won on the road yet and because they have to start putting something together."
The Chief, a personnel director for an NFL team not in the Bengals division, loves the Buffalo special teams and what head coach Dick Jauron has done in the face of a Bengalish spate of injuries.
"They've got a slew of guys on injured reserve (nine) and yet they've hung together and have played pretty well as a balanced team," The Chief says. "They haven't played pretty well on defense because they don't let people score. They've got the ability to run the ball, they're at home, and they can dictate field position with their special teams. They play hard and have an opportunistic defense."