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Breaking down the Bengals playoff picture after Week 11

Cincinnati Bengals v Pittsburgh Steelers
Cincinnati Bengals v Pittsburgh Steelers / Justin K. Aller/GettyImages
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The Cincinnati Bengals took care of business against the Pittsburgh Steelers and in doing so, won their first divisional game of the season. They won 37-30 over the Steelers and while it wasn't the prettiest of wins, it was a win and a much-needed one for the stripes.

With the victory and the Chargers and Jets losing, Cincinnati would find themselves in the playoffs if the season ended right now. Let's check out the AFC playoff standings now that Week 11 is in the books.

AFC Playoff Picture -- Bengals a wild card team

1. Kansas City Chiefs (8-2)
2. Miami Dolphins (7-3)
3. Tennessee Titans (7-3)
4. Baltimore Ravens (7-3)
5. Buffalo Bills (7-3)
6. New England Patriots (6-4)
7. Cincinnati Bengals (6-4)
In the hunt: New York Jets (6-4), Los Angeles Chargers (5-5)

I only include the teams who have winning records in the "in the hunt" category so that's why the Jets and Chargers are the only two teams there. Let's look at the bigger picture here though, shall we?

The Bengals held the tiebreaker over the Jets after beating them in Week 3 so that helped propel them into the playoff picture when the Jets fell to the Patriots. When Cincinnati faces New England in a few weeks, that game is going to be massive because the winner will hold a key tiebreaker over another playoff contender. Right now, however, both squads would be in the postseason.

If the season ended right now, the Bengals would travel to Miami for the Wild Card round. They beat the Dolphins in Week 4 but Tua Tagovailoa was injured in that game so I'm not sure it's a fair look into how good or bad the Dolphins are against this Bengals squad.

Also taking place Wild Card weekend would be the Patriots traveling to Tennessee to play the Titans and the Bills heading to Baltimore for a date with the Ravens. The Chiefs would have a BYE due to holding the top spot.

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There's still a lot of football to be played this season and anything is possible. The Bengals' chances of winning the AFC North aren't great as of now due to Baltimore holding a favorable schedule but hey, any given Sunday, right? Keep the faith, Bengals fans!

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