Bengals Playoff Picture: Cincinnati back in the postseason after Week 11 win
By Kristen Wong
The Cincinnati Bengals made a strong statement after their BYE with a Week 11 victory over the Raiders: I’m back.
It was more of a whisper compared to Cam Newton’s ferocious scream, but nonetheless, it still gets the point across.
The Bengals played good, smart football against the Raiders to secure the win, and their 6-4 record means they jump into the 5th seed in the AFC playoff picture.
Here’s what the AFC playoff picture looks like after Week 11:
- Tennessee Titans (8-3)
- Baltimore Ravens (7-3)
- New England Patriots (7-4)
- Kansas City Chiefs (7-4)
- Cincinnati Bengals (6-4)
- Los Angeles Chargers (6-4)
- Buffalo Bills (6-4)
IN THE HUNT: 8. Pittsburgh Steelers (5-4-1), 9. Indianapolis Colts (6-5), 10. Cleveland Browns (6-5), 11. Las Vegas Raiders (5-5), 12. Denver Broncos (5-5)
Cincinnati Bengals return to playoff seeding, hopefully for good
If the season ended today, Cincinnati would tango with the Chiefs in Kansas City in the Wild Card round while the Ravens would host Buffalo and the Patriots would welcome in the Chargers.
Unfortunately for the Bengals, their division rivals, the Ravens, also won and remain top of the AFC North.
But anyone watching that game knew the Ravens may not be as good as their record shows. A Lamar Jackson-less offense still struggled against a limp Bears team, and Baltimore mostly won due to Bears coach Matt Nagy’s gaffes.
So…Cincinnati could steal an automatic postseason berth by the end of the season. With Burrow’s recent turnover-free performance, along with solid games by Tyler Boyd, Ja’Marr Chase, and the Bengals’ D, Cincinnati have a decent chance of overtaking the Ravens.
Then again, so do the Steelers and the Browns.
The Ravens play the Browns next in Week 12, and Cincinnati should be rooting for Cleveland to win and effectively destroy whatever’s left of the AFC North hierarchy.
But Cincinnati should be more focused on their Week 12 matchup against the Steelers, as Pittsburgh may still have a sour taste in their mouth after that Week 3 upset. This time around, Pittsburgh plans to strike for blood.
All’s fair in the AFC North, and Week 12 will likely feature yet another shuffling of the playoff seed order. Can the Bengals hold on?