This season might have been a total waste of time, one in which the Bengals blew a year of their core's prime, revealed themselves to be too filled with holes for anyone to really feel good about their future, and spent most of the year in self-imposed franchise limbo with a lame duck coach that was probably never going to return well before his departure was reported on.
But today's thrilling win still felt oddly satisfying.
Had it come under a different set of circumstances, this victory would elicit praise for the team's resiliency, large helpings of credit for Andy Dalton making things happen, and toughness from guys who might not have had any business being out there. Instead, it will probably be long forgotten by anyone except for Buffalo Bills fans the time the Bengals' long-rumored coaching search begins, possibly as soon as tomorrow.
But for a night, even if the team's season-ending win ultimately meant little, even if the 2017 Bengals season was mostly an agonizing deathmarch to nowwhere, even if this team's future will immediately take stage front and center, it felt kinda fun to be a Bengals fan today for the first time in a while.