Upon Further Review: Bengals

Revisiting the Cincinnati Bengals' 31-23 loss to the Denver Broncos at Paul Brown Stadium:

The Bengals aren't officially eliminated from the playoffs and they haven't conceded anything. In losing four straight, Cincinnati (3-5) is two games out of a postseason spot.

What hurts the Bengals is falling to 2-5 in the AFC. Conference records is among the first playoff tiebreakers.

“We’re definitely in a tough spot, and the schedule doesn’t get any easier,” cornerback Leon Hall told the Columbus Dispatch.

The Bengals play the defending Super Bowl champion Giants at home next week before playing five straight games against teams that don't have winning records: at Kansas City, home against Oakland, at San Diego, home against Dallas and at Philadelphia. Cincinnati finishes the season at Pittsburgh and home against Baltimore.

“It’s a tough road ahead of us and we have to hit it hard,” coach Marvin Lewis said. “The teams ahead of us play each other, and we get a chance to play some of them. We just have to go. But we’ve dug a hole, no question about it."

The Bengals haven't put together back-to-back winning seasons since 1981-82.

STAT THAT STICKS: 2 -- Number of minutes that the Bengals have led out of the 480 minutes played against Peyton Manning, according to Cincinnati reporter Kevin Goheen.

OVERHEARD: "This is the NFL. One touchdown, one field goal separates NFL games every season. That's why it's just absurd when people say stuff about Alabama and Oregon and them being able to play NFL football. They wouldn't stand a chance. They'd get beat by 50." Offensive tackle Andrew Whitworth told the team's official website.

WHAT'S NEXT: After losing to Peyton Manning for the eight straight time, the Bengals (3-5) play host to the Giants (6-3) and Eli Manning, who has a 1-1 record against Cincinnati.