The Bengals suddenly need a lot of help.
They were one of the NFL's biggest surprises in the first half of the season, when they took advantage of a favorable schedule to start 6-2. In the last five weeks, they've faced some of the league's top teams and lost all but one game.
A 20-19 loss to the Houston Texans on Sunday before another small crowd at Paul Brown Stadium left them 7-6 and out of the playoff picture for now. They're a game behind the New York Jets (8-5) for the second AFC wild card.
Their defensive secondary is depleted by injuries, and right guard Bobbie Williams broke his right ankle during the loss to the Texans.
The Bengals play their final road game on Sunday at St. Louis.