Bengals vs. Ravens: Implications on NFL Playoffs

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Jan 1, 2012; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Cincinnati Bengals and the Baltimore Ravens line up during the first half at Paul Brown Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Frank Victores-USA TODAY Sports

With the NFL’s announcement of the Week 17 schedule, the Cincinnati Bengals cannot clinch the No. 2 seed in the AFC by just beating the Baltimore Ravens. That is, they won’t know if they are the No. seed until the New England Patriots’ game vs. the Buffalo Bills is over at around 7: 30 pm EST.

As long as the Bengals have a shot to get a first-round bye in the NFL playoffs, they’ll go all-out this week vs. the Ravens, who will be doing the same as they look to clinch a playoff berth.

They can do so with a win and  a loss by the Miami Dolphins, which doesn’t make too much sense considering the Ravens beat them head-to-head this year.

But if Miami and Baltimore finish with a 9-7 record, Miami is ahead of Baltimore, as well as the San Diego Chargers( if the beat Kansas City Chiefs) based on conference record (7-4 to the Ravens’ 6-5 and the Chargers’ 5-6).

If Baltimore wins and San Diego wins, Baltimore is ahead  ahead of San Diego based on conference record (6-5 and the Chargers’ 5-6).