Bass: Why can’t you just enjoy the Bengals winning a game?

Oh-and-2 knocked the air out of you. Woe-and-2 was your Deflategate as a Bengals fan.

One-and-2 performed CPR. Won-and-2 meant a sigh.

@BigBurrow9: “It meant the best night's sleep in weeks.”

@Lamont55524016: “Now I can breathe on Monday. Let's see for how long.”

Cincinnati Bengals running back Joe Mixon (28) stiff arms New York Jets linebacker Quincy Williams (56) on a carry in the third quarter of the NFL Week 3 game between the New York Jets and the Cincinnati Bengals at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J., on Sunday, Sept. 25, 2022. The Bengals improved to 1-2 on the season with a 27-12 win over the Jets.
Cincinnati Bengals running back Joe Mixon (28) stiff arms New York Jets linebacker Quincy Williams (56) on a carry in the third quarter of the NFL Week 3 game between the New York Jets and the Cincinnati Bengals at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J., on Sunday, Sept. 25, 2022. The Bengals improved to 1-2 on the season with a 27-12 win over the Jets.

@Rezarf_nyrac: “Meant we can breathe this week! Lol.”

@Ucdaggie1993:  “Big deep breath... OKAY, exhale!”

“No(w) let's go play football!”

Those were a few of your tweets Monday when I asked what Bengals 27, Jets 12 on Sunday meant to you. Clearly, the win provided you a stress release after an opening fortnight of breathing into a paper bag.

It did not provide the statement performance some of you demand in The Season of High Expectations.

You might crave that validation, hope it comes Thursday night against the 3-0 Dolphins, perhaps fear your Bengals will be exposed as a fraud. You are not alone. You openly trusted Joe Burrow would lead another – but easier – Super Bowl run and win it this time. You might be taking 1-2 personally, a reflection on you and your credibility.

What if this is the fan version of Imposter Syndrome?

Or what if this is FOMO? Are you afraid of missing out on your chance to feel what fans of Super Bowl champions feel? Or on missing out on what you felt last season? Or of missing out on just being in the mix again?

All of it is understandable. Every NFL fan deals with the emotional ricochet between trust and mistrust from game to game, but distrust became a survival instinct in Bengal Land. The post-Super Bowl view is new. Faith can be fragile when you spent years using that same paper bag to cover your head. A slow start can seem more dire.

Even a win can feel less meaningful.

@Eskamoo00_alex: “It’s the jets. Not much.”

@Lennyseesall: “The Jets are a below average team. Especially with Joe Sacco (Flacco) as their quarterback. We should, and did win this game convincingly. Our team should expect a great battle Thursday night. We have to start fast, eating clock, and keep Tua (Tagovailoa) off the field.”

@Matthewjbruner: “Yesterday’s victory, while certainly nice to have, doesn’t mean anything to me. We’re still trying to reach our potential by overcoming awful O-line play and questionable coaching. A true gauge of what our season will be in 2022 will be on Thursday night against Miami.”

All might be fair points. And maybe this helps you see the Bengals more realistically. But if you allow the flaws in a win to douse your joy of winning, aren’t you sabotaging yourself? Why not get the most enjoyment you can out of this season, every unpredictable step of the way?

Which is why Sunday to others meant ...

@Thebengalorian: “A lot ... we needed a reset button.”

@Pennywink: “To me, we all needed that. Team, staff, fans. Way to go, guys!”

@BArtbow: “It was big to me. I think we (fans) have been spoiled a bit by the post season run last year. We are not that far removed from a win on the road and a win period being a big deal. Hopefully this will be the turning point.”

@CoachKnox17: “It served as a bit of a relief. There are certain details to adjust such as the occasional playcalling issue (that 4th and 1 had me a bit ticked), but the effort is certainly there, and no need to be freaking out.”

@7thCycle: “A good get right game. Still things that need cleaned up. We will know more after Thursday night!”

@Peppypatty64: “Hearing my dad‘s voice on the phone talking in excited tones about the victory meant more to me than my actual reaction to it which ... honestly is overjoyed! Back on track. Last year was not a fluke.”

We don’t know what this year is. Teams  are finding their way in the early weeks. Their records can deceive. The Panthers began last season 3-0 ... and ended up 5-12. The 2018 Patriots opened 1-2 ... and won the Super Bowl.

Why not enjoy the moment that Sunday gave us?

Why not consider how much better this is than 0-2?

Why not feel grateful that this is not 0-3?

Why not consider what Sunday means. in the simplest terms, and let yourself feel it, because that is all you have right now, anyway, and this is a lot.

@Cincysports4li1: “Victory!”

This article originally appeared on Cincinnati Enquirer: Cincinnati Bengals fan advice on how to enjoy a win