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Monday, December 2, 2013
Morning Stripes: Good ride home edition

By Coley Harvey

In the locker room following their 17-10 win over the San Diego Chargers on Sunday, several Cincinnati Bengals were remarking about the long ride home they were about to take.

The overwhelming sentiment among those who discussed it: "Thank goodness we got a win."

Even before they arrived in San Diego, the Bengals were readily lamenting how disappointing a four-hour trip back to Cincinnati would be if it resulted in a loss instead of a win. Forget seeking out a playoffs berth, that was reason alone for them to make sure they pulled out Sunday's game and earned a meaningful victory.

Of course, by now you've read all about -- or even watched -- the way the Bengals used their running game to offset the pass, and got another inspiring defensive performance en route to the seven-point victory that pushed them to 8-4. Ahead of next week's potentially pivotal home showdown against the also 8-4 Indianapolis Colts, the win came at a great time.

Four weeks remain on the Bengals' regular-season schedule, and it's beginning to appear that a 10-6 record will be good enough to qualify for one of the six AFC postseason slots. The fact that three of Cincinnati's next four games are at home should help it get to 10 wins and maybe even beyond. After all, the Bengals are 5-0 so far at Paul Brown Stadium.

Before we get too far ahead of ourselves looking at next weekend, though, let's quickly glance back at Week 13 and the storylines that came from this key West Coast win. Here are your Monday Morning Stripes: