The Cincinnati Bengals are riding a five-game winning streak and hope to make it six when they take on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers this Sunday. Before we dive into that matchup throughout the week, let's check out the updated playoff standings on the AFC side of things.
With the Bengals and Ravens both winning this past week, Baltimore still has the lead in the AFC North due to that pesky head-to-head tiebreaker they earned back in Week 5. The two won't play again until the Week 18 finale.
There wasn't a ton of shakeup in the AFC playoff picture this week but the wild card spots were shuffled up a bit due to the Jets losing and the Patriots winning.
Bengals Playoff Picture after Week 14
1. Buffalo Bills (10-3)
2. Kansas City Chiefs (10-3)
3. Baltimore Ravens (9-4)
4. Tennessee Titans (7-6)
5. Cincinnati Bengals (9-4)
6. Miami Dolphins (8-5)
7. New England Patriots (7-6)
In the hunt: Los Angeles Chargers (7-6), New York Jets (7-6)
If the season ended today, the Bengals would head to Nashville to face the Titans in the AFC Wild Card. Meanwhile, the Chiefs would host the Patriots and the Ravens would host the Dolphins. The worst remaining seed would then head to Buffalo in the AFC Divisional Round.
With the Ravens potentially being down to their third-string quarterback this upcoming week, it's not crazy to think that Cincinnati could slide into the AFC North lead as early as this week. If that's the case, they hold tiebreakers over Kansas City and Tennessee and play Buffalo in Week 17. The No. 1 seed is still entirely in play and that seemed wild to think about after the 0-2 start.
Cincinnati needs to focus on winning the game on the schedule each week rather than looking at what other teams are doing. If they win out, the No. 1 seed could be theirs.