The past few weeks in The Jungle have been particularly wild. There was the Damar Hamlin incident, which shocked the nation and threw the NFL playoff picture into a brief tailspin. There was the coin toss debacle, and a game against the Baltimore Ravens to decide home field advantage for the following wild card game, also against the Ravens. Fines, season-ending injuries, penalties and lots of bad blood ensued.
Of course, the most unbelievable moment was the now-legendary “Fumble in the Jungle,” where Bengals defensive end Sam Hubbard sprinted 98 yards down the Paycor Stadium field, scoring a touchdown on a fumble return. It had been a tight, ugly game all night, and much like hometown hero Hubbard, Bengals fans probably could have used some oxygen to help with their collective hyperventilating. But a win’s a win, and Bengals fan could breathe easy knowing their team was headed to a divisional rematch against Buffalo.
The Bengals offensive line has been decimated by injuries, and enter the game against Buffalo as underdogs. Even if the Bengals don’t advance after Sunday, Bengals fans have another reason to breathe easy: this past season has proven Joe Burrow and co. are the real deal.
Kevin Necessary is an illustrator and editorial cartoonist. His editorial cartoons appear Sundays in The Enquirer.