The importance of what only a week ago was regarded as a routine game Sunday against the Minnesota Vikings has grown exponentially for the Cincinnati Bengals.
After a 30-20 loss Sunday to the Pittsburgh Steelers, the Bengals (9-5) are clinging to a one-game lead over the Ravens (8-6) in the AFC North. They could lose their grip on the division with a defeat to the Vikings combined with a Ravens win over the New England Patriots on Sunday.
The Bengals could also clinch a playoff berth with a win Sunday combined with a loss or tie by either the Ravens or Miami Dolphins (8-6).
If the Bengals, Ravens and Dolphins all finished 10-6, the Bengals wouldn't even qualify for the...