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Monday, October 21, 2013
Morning Stripes: Bengals grind out another

By Coley Harvey

Just like last Monday, we have to welcome you once again this Monday to sole possession of first place, Cincinnati Bengals fans. How does it feel?

You've now started back-to-back weeks by jumping out of bed, skipping to breakfast and hi-ho, hi-hoing your way to work with an upbeat demeanor that few should have on a Monday morning. I guarantee you, your counterparts in Cleveland, Baltimore and Pittsburgh haven't quite been gliding so easily through their first work days of the week. How does it feel?

It has to feel pretty good, I'd imagine.

With Sunday's 27-24 win over the Detroit Lions, one of the best teams in a very competitive NFC North division, the Bengals have now claimed yet another big-boy, better yet "grown-man," win that ought to look favorably on their résumé as the postseason picture begins taking shape by the end of the season.

For the second straight week, you've gone off to work lifted by Mike Nugent's right leg. In consecutive weeks, the kicker has blasted game-winning and game-ending field goals. Last week, his 43-yard overtime boot sent Cincinnati to 4-2. Sunday's 54-yard drive as time expired made the Bengals 5-2. They now have claimed two road wins in this tough four-road-game-in-five-game stretch, and won three straight games overall.

The way each of those wins -- and one more; the Week 3 victory over Green Bay -- was decided could best be described by one of coach Marvin Lewis' favorite terms: "grinding." They truly were the types of wins that relied on the Bengals willing themselves through some harrowing and adverse conditions.

As we kick off this Monday's Morning Stripes, we go a little deeper into looking at the way others described the gritty win: