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Sunday NFL Thoughts: Bengals are awful, DeflateGate, and Cheerleaders

1. The Bengals haven't won a playoff game in 25 years. They intercept the football while holding the lead and 90 seconds left on the clock. The player who intercepted the ball led a contingent of the defenders off the field and towards the locker room.

The game wasn't over. Bengals running back Jeremy Hill fumbled the ball back to the Steelers, who marched down the field to attempt a game winning field goal. The Steelers were aided by two Cincinnati penalties, one of which was by the player who led the team preemptively down the hallway.

No surprise that they're still winless in the playoffs.

2. Steelers wide receiver Martavis Bryant made one of the most impressive touchdown catches I've ever seen. There are no words. Just watch it. Again. And again. And again.

3. The high temperature between the Vikings and Seahawks will be 0 degrees at 3:00 PM CST, which is roughly when the the final quarter is expected to be underway. Kickoff temperature should be around -5 degrees, and wind chill should bring it down to -15. We have to talk footballs.

My theory, which has been reinforced time and time again by the league over the DeflateGate saga, is that any information that sides with the league is leaked to ESPN. Any information that benefits the Patriots is buried. There has been absolutely zero information around the pressures of footballs over the course of the season, which leads me to believe that everything the league has found has been in favor of the Patriots innocence.

4. Speaking of the NFL losing in court, a judge ruled in favor of Buffalo Jills, the cheerleaders for the Bills. Basically, the Bills were paying the cheerleaders as contractors instead of as employees, which would allow the Bills to argue that the cheerleaders didn't have labor rights. You know, typical stuff. The judge said that if the Bills could control how the Jills appeared with an official handbook, then they were official employees. One important step taken.

5. Patriots defensive coordinator Matt Patricia has interviewed with the Browns, while offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels decided to take a rain check to focus on his game plan. Patricia can claim in future interviews that he has been viewed as a legitimate candidate, and he now has interview experience. It's great. Don't expect him to take the Cleveland job, but instead view it as a positive for future opportunities.

I actually believe that both McDaniels and Patricia will be back next season, barring an unforeseen change. The Giants job is obviously what McDaniels wants, but it doesn't seem like he's on their radar at this point in time. Perhaps he'll wait for the Saints job to open up, or for the Lions to fire Jim Caldwell, so he could join new general manager, and former Patriots director of pro scouting, Bob Quinn.