Bengals Playoff Picture: Cincinnati would face Ravens if season ended today

Cincinnati Bengals. (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)
Cincinnati Bengals. (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images) /

The Cincinnati Bengals’ playoff seeding doesn’t change much after their Week 13 loss. The AFC order has been reshuffled, but no new teams enter the playoff picture.

Compared to their nail-biting thriller against the Green Bay Packers or deflating performance against the New York Jets, the Bengals’ loss to the Chargers wasn’t so bad.

Cincinnati gave up too many points too early, and an injured Joe Burrow could only do so much to get the Bengals back in the game.

Joe Mixon was noticeably quiet, as was Ja’Marr Chase, but good thing they have other players to rely on, like Tee Higgins and a usually stalwart defense.

Justin Herbert led his side to 41 points, but the game didn’t signal a complete collapse of this Bengals team, just a slight backtrack.

Here’s what the AFC playoff picture looks like after Week 13:

  1. New England Patriots (9-4)
  2. Tennessee Titans (8-4)
  3. Baltimore Ravens (8-4)
  4. Kansas City Chiefs (8-4)
  5. Los Angeles Chargers (7-5)
  6. Cincinnati Bengals (7-5)
  7. Buffalo Bills (7-5)

IN THE HUNT:  8. Pittsburgh Steelers (6-5-1), 9. Indianapolis Colts (7-6), 10. Las Vegas Raiders (6-6), 11. Cleveland Browns (6-6), 12. Denver Broncos (6-6)

Cincinnati Bengals sit in 6th seed, would play Baltimore in Wild Card round

The New England Patriots stole the show in Week 13, beating the Bills in a sludgy matchup in which Mac Jones infamously threw just three passes. With that decisive win, the Pats overtake the Ravens and Titans for the top playoff seed.

The win by the Chargers keeps them ahead of the Bengals and other teams are nipping on Cincinnati’s heels for a postseason berth: the Steelers are trying to turn their season around one game at a time while the Colts will be on a BYE next week, anxiously awaiting the results of other AFC matchups.

As it stands, Cincinnati would face Baltimore in the Wild Card round, and what a tumultuous matchup that would be. The two are already set to play each other in Week 16 as each vies for the AFC North crown.

The Ravens will be hungry for revenge after the Bengals throttled them 41-17 in late October, but Baltimore has a few urgent roster issues to address after losing cornerback Marlon Humphrey for the rest of the season.

Of course, the Bengals would ideally want to finish in first place in the AFC North, but playing the Ravens in the playoffs may give a slight advantage to the much healthier Cincinnati side.

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Next up, the Bengals will battle the San Francisco 49ers and try to hold on to their precious postseason spot.