The Bengals beat the Saints 31-16 yesterday. And a guy named Ethan Kilmer returned a Drew Brees' INT for a TD. Kilmer played only one year of football in high school and was a walk-on for two years at Penn State. Great story.
Honestly, I kind of don't know what to do with this. I figured this would be my nail in the coffin blog, especially after the Saints tied the game at 7-7 with a Bill Cowher-esque flea flicker to Joe Horn (whose dance was completely ridiculous). The defense was missing all of its starting LB's, one CB (Deltha O'Neal), and one SS (Dexter Jackson). The O-line was missing three starters. Drew Brees passed for 500 yards. And I'm talking about Ethan Kilmer. Wow.
The fact that the Bengals were able to pull this game out is pretty amazing. They beat a division leading team with a high powered offense on the road. But let's get one thing straight. The Bengals defense is bad. I still fear for the future when they face Peyton Manning or any other quarterback not named Frye, Brooks, or Walter. Even still, they are in a position make a run for the playoffs. Beating Cleveland on the road will be a tougher game than it looks like on paper as Cleveland's D is very strong against the pass, but it's certainly winnable. Then it's Baltimore and the Raiders at home. A sweep of these three games would leave the Bengals at 8-5 going into two brutal road games @Denver and then @Indy. They could afford to lose one of these games and then come back to beat Pittsburgh at home on New Year's Eve to finish the season at 10-6. I see them winning a close game next week against Cleveland leaving their season to hinge on the Baltimore game next Thursday. I will be requesting the night off of work for that game, provided the Bengals take care of business this Sunday.
Also, I must take some credit for the victory this weekend. In my 12 team Fantasy Football league I benched Drew Brees for good luck. Don't worry, I still won and clinched a playoff spot thanks to the Miami D. Who Dey?!