The Cincinnati Bengals are one of three unbeaten teams remaining in the NFL, but they have their eye on a bigger prize than a perfect record in the regular season.
The Bengals are off to their best start in franchise history at 8-0, but they are well aware of their dubious mark in the postseason since 1990 -- the last time they won a playoff game. Head coach Marvin Lewis is 0-6 in the playoffs, including four straight one-and-done appearances with Andy Dalton as quarterback.
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"What's 16-0 if you go 0-1 when it matters?," safety George Iloka said per ESPN.com's Coley Harvey. "A perfect season is not really one of the goals we set in the offseason. The perfect postseason is what we set out for."
A perfect postseason is something the Bengals have never achieved as they've lost both of their trips to the Super Bowl. As cliche as it is, left tackle Andrew Whitworth is taking everything one game at a time, and next week's date against Houston is the only thing on his mind.
"What we can look at is going 9-0. That's the only thing we can focus on," Whitworth said. "If that's as good as we can be that week, then that should be the only thing we're worried about. Can we beat the team we're playing that week? What does it take that week?"
The New England Patriots and Carolina Panthers are the other unbeaten teams left after Denver fell to Indianapolis on Sunday. The way the Patriots are playing, Cincinnati might have to go 16-0 to lock up homefield advantage throughout the playoffs.