Originally posted on Fox Sports Ohio  |  Last updated 11/11/12
CINCINNATI - Just in time. Among the highlight items of a wild NFL Sunday is the Bengals 31-13 win over the Giants, one that the Bengals would have celebrated like crazy had it come against the defending Super Bowl champs or some pee-wee team from down the street. Winning is the greatest deodorant, and you can guess what was needed in that Bengals locker room. The Bengals are no longer carrying a four-game losing streak or the burdens that come with such a streak. They'd played three "must-win" games in a row, and they'd lost all three. They hadn't won since September 30. Then they beat the Giants. Now -- temporarily, anyway -- all is well again. Andy Dalton threw four touchdown passes. One of them went to A.J. Green, who's caught one in eight straight games but usually faces double and triple teams. On Green's 56-yard touchdown, nobody covered him. And that was just the start of a three-hour nightmare for the Giants. For the Bengals, 4-5 never looked so good. Timing isn't everything in the NFL, but timing matters. The Bengals caught a tired, struggling Giants team that badly needs its bye next weekend. Now, the Bengals play the hapless Chiefs on the road and host the Raiders in their next two games. See where this is going? Check the AFC standings. Unofficially left for dead after losing four straight, the Bengals can play themselves back into playoff contention. That's still a bit of crazy talk, but it's a lot less crazy than it was a week ago. Without diving into scenarios, the Ravens (7-2) and Steelers (5-3) play each other next week and twice in the next three weekends. The Dolphins (4-5) just got blitzed by Tennessee, the Colts (6-3) schedule gets tougher over the next several weeks and the Chargers (4-5) are a mess. The Bengals next three are at the one-win Chiefs, home vs. an Oakland team that's down its top two running backs and gave up 55 points in Baltimore Sunday, then at the Chargers. More important than hypotheticals is that the Bengals didn't steal a victory Sunday. They were efficient. The defensive line was dominant. Adam Jones was all over the field, four different receivers caught Dalton's touchdowns and the Bengals both capitalized on their scoring chances and slammed the door this time after squandering second-half leads in each of their last three losses. "For the past four weeks Ive felt about the same way as I feel about the way we work and play," Bengals coach Marvin Lewis said. "We work hard and play hard, but today we made the plays at critical moments that are key to winning game in the National Football League. Your good players have to outplay the good players on the other team." Lewis makes it sound simple, and in some ways it is. It's his job not to let his players get too excited or start thinking they've actually won something. They work every week trying to accomplish the same thing each Sunday. What they've won is the right to exhale, and to go play to win again. These are long seasons. Long losing streaks are totally miserable. "It gives us a chance to go to Kansas City next week one better than we wouldve been," Lewis said. "Weve got to keep the same urgency and the same intensity and understanding that we had this week to go play on the road. Each one of our games means a lot. We cant waste any more opportunities." Coaches deal in one game, one play at a time. Lewis knows the Bengals' season was sinking fast. There's stil much to be fixed. There's still much to be settled. The Bengals won a big one Sunday; and important one. Just in time. Now, these games start to matter again.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

David Stern: Lakers could have had Chris Paul, GM panicked

Brandon Jacobs vows to 'expose' Jim Harbugh, get him fired

Mike Zimmer won’t retire even if right eye goes blind

Kevin Love responds to Draymond Green’s ‘annihilation’ trash talk

Spike Lee deletes Instagram post saying Kaepernick signed with Seattle

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Errol Spence is the real deal, takes down Kell Brook

Indians reveal Frank Robinson statue at Progressive Field

Report: Jerry West considered rejoining the Lakers before they hired Magic Johnson

The NHL is thinking about hosting an outdoor game in Nashville

Michael Vick in talks to retire with Falcons

Hall of Fame pitcher and former U.S. Senator Jim Bunning passes away at 85

Journey to the Stanley Cup Final: Pittsburgh Penguins

Best of Yardbarker: Ladies and gentlemen, start your engines

The 'More like Whiffer, Texas Ranger...amirite?' quiz

The Rewind: Vince Carter's graduation day celebration that wasn't

Manu Ginobili gave life to the San Antonio Spurs

Stanley Cup Final: A David vs. Goliath matchup that's not as lopsided as it may appear

Why the Indianapolis 500 is called 'the greatest spectacle in racing'

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

Box Score 5/26: Bring on the Finals

Why wait? Our too soon Cavaliers-Warriors NBA Finals preview

Kicking It: East is East, and West is West

Three Up, Three Down: Some surprises way out (NL) West

NFL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Journey to the Stanley Cup Final: Pittsburgh Penguins

Best of Yardbarker: Ladies and gentlemen, start your engines

The 'More like Whiffer, Texas Ranger...amirite?' quiz

Stanley Cup Final: A David vs. Goliath matchup that's not as lopsided as it may appear

Manu Ginobili gave life to the San Antonio Spurs

The Rewind: Vince Carter's graduation day celebration that wasn't

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

Kicking It: East is East, and West is West

Three Up, Three Down: Some surprises way out (NL) West

The 'Let's go to the videotape!' quiz

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker