Lets be honest here, for a team that came into the 2010 season with high hopes, to head into week seven of the season with a 2-3 record is brutally disappointing.
When the schedule is released—and we are all guilty of this—we go through it, and mark down some of the potentials wins and losses.
Certainly, not many had Cincinnati losing consecutive games to Cleveland and Tampa Bay, and it is now in the position of having to go into some pretty difficult places to pull off victories if they want to salvage their season.
Furthermore, Baltimore and Pittsburgh probably won't let up, and barring injuries, will be in the thick of things all season long.
What do the Bengals need to do?
Considering the remaining road games are at Atlanta, Indianapolis, New York, Baltimore, and Pittsburgh, all quality teams, they have the tall order of having to win three of those contests at the minimum. Perhaps even more.
As far as the home schedule goes, Miami, Buffalo, Cleveland, Pittsburgh, New Orleans, and San Diego will visit Paul Brown Stadium.
The Dolphins are a solid team, the Steelers are the Steelers, the Saints may eventually round back into Super Bowl form, and the Chargers, while fairly disappointing thus far, aren't an easy task, and have a tough customer to deal with in the form of Phillip Rivers.
As for the Browns and Bills, I would die a happy man if I never hear the phrase "we are better than them on paper" ever again, as that did the Bengals no good in the recent losses.
Win five of those home games, three of the tough road games, and that will give them 10 wins on the season, perhaps enough to get into the playoffs.
Of course, this isn't taking several things into factor.
Injuries, momentum, and blustery late season weather will play a role as well, but starting Sunday in Atlanta, games really start to become "must win."
Sound a bit strong of a statement perhaps? Six games in, two back of Pittsburgh, and one back of Baltimore, I don't think so at all.