Bengals vs. Ravens: Implications on NFL Playoffs

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Jan 1, 2012; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice (27) runs for a touchdown during the second half against the Cincinnati Bengals at Paul Brown Stadium. The Ravens defeated the Bengals 24-16. Mandatory Credit: Frank Victores-USA TODAY Sports

In the end, the Bengals need only a win to enhance their seeding, while the Ravens need to win just to get into the playoffs. That was the scenario in Week 17 of the 2011 season, but it was the Bengals needing a win to get in while the Ravens already had a postseason berth secured.

Still, the Ravens handled the Bengals and left them needing the Oakland Raiders and the New York Jets to lose for Cincinnati get into the playoffs. They got that help, but alas, the helpless feeling of losing at home in a must-win scenario was hard to watch.

Last year’s Week 17 matchup between the two AFC North rivals meant nothing, as both teams were locked into their seeds at that point, so this is the chance for Cincinnati to be the ones knocking Baltimore out of the playoffs.

How sweet it would be for the Bengals to do that to the defending Super Bowl champions.

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