After Sunday's beat down of Chicago, the Bengals sit at 5-2 going into their bye week. First round pick Andre Smith looms almost like a mid-season acquisition. We know what we have without him, and as long as we view whatever he brings as a bonus, it could be a big deal. Really, the upgrade from Roland/Collins to Smith on the tackle eligible play alone is huge.
Anyways, this post isn't about HippapotaSmith. It's about how the Bengals can get to 11 wins. With last year being a very rare exception, 11 wins is enough to get you into the playoffs one way or another. The Steelers figure to sit at the 10-12 win range. The Ravens have already lost three, obviously, and both of those teams still have to play each other twice. Realistically, 11 wins gives the Bengals a decent shot at the AFC North crown.
From my view, anything less than 11 wins at this point would be a disappointment, and anything in single digits would be a failure. Take a look: