Bengals Control Their Destiny for Playoff Bye

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Nov 8, 2015; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning (18) gets up after being hit in the first half against the Indianapolis Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Thomas J. Russo-USA TODAY Sports

On Sunday, the Denver Broncos suffered a devastating loss to the Indianapolis Colts, which means that the Cincinnati Bengals are one of the AFC’s one two remaining undefeated teams. (Not-so-humble brag: I totally called the Colts’ upset win last week in my weekly game picks series–Every NFL expert on NFL Pickem and the fan consensus picked the Broncos in Sunday’s matchup).

Denver’s loss in Indianapolis puts the Broncos at 7-1, which means that the 8-0 Bengals are tied with the New England Patriots and will be able to control their own destiny moving forward this season. If Cincinnati were to win out or finish the season with a better record than either the Broncos or Patriots, the Bengals would be set to earn a first-round playoff bye.

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And maybe earning a first-round bye is exactly what the Cincinnati Bengals need.

Andy Dalton

and company have not been impressive throughout the playoffs in the last four seasons. Only one Bengals running back (

BenJarvus Green-Ellis

) has eclipsed 50 yards rushing in the Bengals’ past four playoff games, while six opposing running backs have tallied at least 50 yards rushing in Cincinnati’s four losses–that’s three 50-yard rushers per every two games!

With a decisive 31-10 victory over the Cleveland Browns, the Cincinnati Bengals have proven that they can get the job done in prime time. And with four more remaining prime time games, Cincinnati will have a chance to prove that it belongs among the NFL contenders.

Next: Tyler Eifert Makes Bengals' Offense Best in NFL

The road to a potential first-round bye begins next a week from today, as the Bengals will face the Houston Texans on Monday Night Football. Meanwhile, the New England Patriots will square off with the New York Giants, while the Denver Broncos will face the Kansas City Chiefs. Earning a first-round bye is a very attainable goal for the 2015 Bengals.

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