All being said, a chance to host a home playoff game is in the Bengals’ grasp, and here are all of the seeding-scenarios entering Week 16:
No. 1 seed – Bengals need to win out and the Pats lose one game while the Broncos and Kansas City Chiefs lose out. Don’t get your hopes up for this happening.
No. 2 seed – Bengals win out and New England loses either at the Baltimore Ravens Week 16 or home vs. the Buffalo Bills in Week 17. Bengals and Patriots would finish 11-5 and Bengals would get it by virtue of beating the Patriots in Week 5.
This scenario is very likely, as the Pats will probably be underdogs at Baltimore this week where the Ravens are 5-1 at home and have won two-straight vs. New England.
The Bengals could also earn the No. 2 seed if they lose next week but win in Week 17 while the Pats lose out. This scenario isn’t likely, as the would mean the Patriots lose four-straight games to end the year.
No. 3 seed – Bengals and Patriots win out, Bengals lose next week to Vikings but win in Week 17 vs. Ravens, or Bengals win next week and Ravens lose to Patriots. This is the likeliest scenario.
No. 4 seed – Bengals lose next week but win in Week 17 while Colts win out. Their final two games are against the Chiefs and Jacksonville Jaguars, so this is also a realistic scenario.
No. 5 seed – Bengals can’t get this because Chiefs and Broncos have clinched at least the No. 5 seed.
No. 6 seed – Bengals and Dolphins lose out. Also happen if both Bengals and Ravens win next week but Ravens win in Week 17. Bengals are undefeated at home and have to lose at home in order for this to happen, but given Ravens’ experience in big games vs. BengaLs lackthereof, this has become a realistic scenario.
No playoffs – Bengals lose out and Dolphins win one of their final two games. Also happens if Bengals win next week but lose in Week 17 while Dolphins win out.
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