The Cincinnati Bengals swept the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday and currently sit alone at the top of the AFC North. They only have to win one of their final two games in order to win the division for the first time since the 2015 season.
With all of that in mind, let’s take a look at the playoff picture entering Week 17. Traditionally, Week 17 has been the regular-season finale but with the extra game, we’ll now have a Week 18 for the first time in league history.
Here’s the Bengals playoff picture entering Week 17.
- Kansas City Chiefs (11-4)
- Tennessee Titans (10-5)
- Cincinnati Bengals (9-6)
- Buffalo Bills (9-6)
- Indianapolis Colts (9-6)
- New England Patriots (9-6)
- Miami Dolphins (8-7)
IN THE HUNT: Los Angeles Chargers (8-7), Las Vegas Raiders (8-7), Baltimore Ravens (8-7) Pittsburgh Steelers (7-7-1), Cleveland Browns (7-8), Denver Broncos (7-8)
If the season ended today, the Bengals would host the Patriots in the Wild Card round, the Titans would host the Dolphins, and the Bills would host the Colts. New England would be a tough opponent in the first round but there’s still a chance that the Patriots can go on to win their division.
Strangely enough, Miami — who were 1-7 at one point — are now holding onto the No. 7 seed. They’ve rattled off seven straight wins and have battled back to become a legitimate playoff team, knocking the Ravens out of the playoff picture, as it stands now.
As for the Bengals, they need just one more win in their final two games to win the division, giving them at least one home playoff game. Unfortunately, the remaining games are against teams with a ton to play for still. The Chiefs are fighting for the No. 1 overall seed and the Browns are simply fighting for a chance to get into the dance.
Entering the season, did anyone predict the Bengals would be in this position with two games left to go? We all thought they’d be improved but a 9-6 record with a chance to win the division seemed like a pipe dream.
Hey, we’ll all take it. Let’s get at least one win in these final two weeks to get that division title back in the Queen City!