|QB Andy Dalton and the Bengals were upset by both Miami and Cleveland earlier this year to contribute to their current 4-5 hole. (AP)|
On Wednesday, Green said that he wasn't disparaging the Browns, but, rather, searching for a word while bemoaning two frustrating early-season defeats. Make no mistake, however, the losses to one-win Miami and winless Cleveland still sting.
Hard not to wonder what-if when looking at a favorable schedule but taking into account that the Bengals still need two wins in a row to move above .500.
Traveling to Kansas City, reminders of those losses are still lingering.
"We can't look past anyone,” Green said. “This is the last part of the season, and I feel like the game we had last Sunday gave us momentum. The best momentum to have is in the second half of the season."
The Bengals made a habit of beating the teams they were supposed to beat last season; they were a perfect 9-0 against teams that didn't make the playoffs. The same can't be said this season. They're 2-2 in games they were favored to win, and they have lost two in a row.
Here's how it breaks down:
Opponent: Spread / Final
Cleveland: -7.5 / W 34-27
Jacksonville: -2.5 / W 27-10
Miami: -3.5 / L 17-13
Cleveland: -1.5 / L 34-24
Kansas City: -3.5 / ?
“Some of these games we lost we felt like we had a good chance of winning the game but we didn't,” CB Leon Hall said. “So, you never take a team lightly, even if they are in a slump.”
The Chiefs (1-8) certainly are. They pushed Pittsburgh to overtime on Monday night, but that was the first game all season they held a lead in regulation.
“They're fighting,” QB Andy Dalton said. “They're trying to get back into it, they're trying to get that bad taste (out of) their mouth. You can see by the way they played on Monday. They played the Steelers tough. So we know we're going to get their best effort.”
In dire need of stringing wins together, the Bengals can't afford to give less than theirs. They know what happens if they don't. All they need to do is look at the schedule for results against Miami and Cleveland.
“You can't get 'em back, but we look at games we've lost and know we should have won them,” CB Adam Jones said. “We got in a hole; our guys know that for us, the playoffs started against the Giants.”
Follow Paul Dehner Jr. for Bengals updates on Twitter at @CBSBengals.