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Bengals' Lewis: Win over Texans would highlight 'rebirth'

Marvin Lewis is a man who's been around the block, winning a pair of AFC North titles in Cincinnati and coaching in a Super Bowl with Baltimore.

His 7-5 Bengals are in a four-way tie for the final AFC wildcard spot and find themselves in must-win situation at home against the Texans on Sunday.

"This is the most important game we have played in December I would say," Lewis told The Cincinnati Enquirer. "This is the biggest game I've been in in the NFL.

"... These guys have worked extremely hard and this is an opportunity to reap a benefit from how hard they worked. This is a big win to win now because of what it means and how it continues to keep us moving forward. It's a rebirth."

The Bengals' chaotic offseason -- highlighted by quarterback Carson Palmer vanishing on the team -- left some wondering if and why Lewis would return for a ninth campaign. 

They have yet to topple the big boys of the AFC North, but the Bengals have done enough behind rookie quarterback Andy Dalton (aka The Glowing Ginger Man) and the league's sixth-ranked defense to find themselves kicking and screaming for a playoff spot here in December. Last year at this time they were 2-10.

A rebirth, indeed, in Cincy.

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