As I watched the final seconds tick away in the Cincinnati Bengals 18-12 victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers, I couldn’t help but think, what a favor they did for us.
Let’s face it, the rejuvenated Bengals won this division last week when they beat the Ravens in Cincinnati. This effectively ended the Ravens’ chances of capturing the division, but they are still alive in the wildcard hunt. And with the Bengals win over the Steelers this afternoon, it helped the Ravens immeasurably. First, assuming the Ravens take care of business in Cleveland tomorrow night, this will put them one game behind the Steelers for a wildcard spot. Forgetting the other teams for a moment, the Ravens still have two games against the Steelers. Having been beaten by Cincy twice, the Ravens need a season sweep against a team that I believe they can beat.
Cincy is the class of the division this year. With Carson Palmer and #85 leading the offense along with a punishing defense, the Bengals have all but wrapped up the AFC North. Meaning, the Ravens are left to fight for the two wildcard spots, which as most of you will remember, is where they finished last year. A sweep of the Steelers, who are now also relegated to fighting for the wildcard would be huge.
Let’s face it….Cincinnati has taken care of their business….it’s time for the Ravens to take care of theirs.