AFC Playoff Picture after Week 16: Bengals loss puts them on the outs

The Bengals would be watching the playoffs from home if the season ended today.

Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Tyler Boyd (83) catches a pass in the first quarter of the NFL 16
Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Tyler Boyd (83) catches a pass in the first quarter of the NFL 16 / Sam Greene/The Enquirer / USA TODAY
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The Cincinnati Bengals needed to beat the Pittsburgh Steelers on Saturday to still be a strong contender for the playoffs. Unfortunately, they failed to show up and got trounced by the Steelers and now their playoff hopes are dim.

According to The New York Times, the Bengals have a 14% chance of making the playoffs as of this writing. They're 0-5 in their division, which hurts them in tiebreaker scenarios as the Steelers now sit ahead of them in the standings and the Texans have a key head-to-head tiebreaker against them as well. They do hold key tiebreakers against the Bills, Colts, and Jaguars, so that could come into play.

Here are the playoff standings after Week 16's slate of games.

AFC playoff picture after Week 16

  1. Baltimore Ravens (12-3)*
  2. Miami Dolphins (11-4)*
  3. Kansas City Chiefs (9-6)
  4. Jacksonville Jaguars (8-7)
  5. Cleveland Browns (10-5)
  6. Buffalo Bills (9-6)
  7. Indianapolis Colts (8-7)

In the hunt: Houston Texans (8-7), Pittsburgh Steelers (8-7), Cincinnati Bengals (8-7)

*indicates that a team has clinched a playoff spot

If the season ended right now, the Bengals would not be in the dance. Wild Card weekend would give us the Dolphins hosting the Colts, the Chiefs hosting the Bills, and the Jaguars hosting the Browns. The Ravens would have the one-seed but they play the Dolphins next week and that game could very well determine who lands the top seed in the conference.

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