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Monday, October 14, 2013
Morning Stripes: Bengals back in first solo

By Coley Harvey

Good Monday morning, Cincinnati Bengals fans. Welcome to sole possession of first place in the AFC North.

How does it feel?

I'd imagine it feels great, although you know very well that a win next week at Detroit and this team can begin scripting a postseason story that, for now at least, appears it won't include a loss at Houston. With the Texans, that AFC South bugaboo that knocked the Bengals out of their last two playoff trips, stumbling through a four-game losing streak, the Bengals appear to be clear of having to make a trip down to Reliant Stadium as long as everything continues trending the way it currently is.

And what way is that? The winning way.

Sunday's 27-24 overtime win over Buffalo was not pretty by any stretch of the imagination. Cincinnati didn't even need to be in overtime. With a 14-point fourth-quarter lead, the Bengals should have been hopping on the bus to the airport, not bracing the sideline for a sudden-death period.

But it happened anyway. And, as has been the case the last three winning games, they won Sunday in the clutch anyway. Coupled with losses by Baltimore and Cleveland, the victory placed Cincinnati all alone atop the division. If the three teams can replicate those exact winning and losing efforts next weekend, the gap for the Bengals can grow.

As you revel in the glory of being all alone in first place, we take a look back in Monday's Morning Stripes at what got your Bengals there: