While it feels as though the Cincinnati Bengals' season ended with the announcement that Joe Burrow would miss the rest of the year with a torn ligament in his wrist, crazier things have happened in the NFL. Burrow is a huge part of the Bengals team so a Super Bowl is probably not going to happen for the Stripes this season. Making the playoffs, however, isn't entirely farfetched.
Let's take a look at two reasons why the Bengals can make the postseason and three reasons why they can't.
Why they can't: 1-5 conference record
It was already going to be a struggle to get into the playoffs had Burrow been able to return at some point but at 5-5, it's trickier. Four of the Bengals' five wins came against the NFC West, which is great for the win column but not when it comes to playoff tiebreakers.
The Bengals' one conference win came against the Bills when all was trending right with Cincinnati but that's it. They don't own the head-to-head tiebreakers against the Browns, Ravens, or Texans, all of whom would be in the playoffs if the season ended right this instant.
While they face five more AFC teams down the stretch, the Bengals might have already dug themselves into too big of a hole to get out of.