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Not even Grizzly Adams can save the Bengals from the bitter truth.
At 5-2, Cincinnati does an excellent impression of a playoff-caliber team. Like the Browns, though, the Bengals are a house of cards built on wins against the absolute dregs of the league. Their impressive victory over the up-and-down Bills aside, the combined record of the teams they've beaten is a foul-smelling 7-24.
Like the Browns, the Bengals' road gets much tougher down the stretch. Also like the Browns, they'll face off against both Pittsburgh and Baltimore twice during the second half of the season.
Unlike Cleveland, though, Cincinnati will have to find away to get past the Texans and Titans, too, in order to qualify for postseason play.
While their record might lead one to believe otherwise, the Bengals are a rebuilding team, in the process of breaking in a rookie quarterback. As counterintuitive as writing off a 5-2 ball club may seem, the Bengals can look forward to spending quality time with friends and family over the holidays this season as their playoff hopes were killed by the NFL schedule makers this year.