The Cincinnati Bengals won their Week 9 match-up but unfortunately for them, so did the rest of the AFC North. The Bengals bested the Buffalo Bills by a score of 24-18 while the Steelers took down the Titans, the Ravens blasted the Seahawks, and the Browns shut out the Cardinals. That means that, once again, the Bengals are at the bottom of the division, even with a 5-3 record and looking like one of the best teams in the league right now.
The Ravens' win was something else, as they completely destroyed the Seahawks -- a very good football team -- to the tune of a 37-3 final score. The Ravens have the ability to be the best team in the league but Lamar Jackson has to prove that he can stay healthy and, furthermore, once the Ravens are in the playoffs, they have to win, something they've struggled to do recently.
AFC North standings after Week 9
1. Baltimore Ravens (7-2)
2. Pittsburgh Steelers (5-3)
3. Cleveland Browns (5-3)
4. Cincinnati Bengals (5-3)
According to Adam Schefter after the Bengals took down the Bills on Sunday Night Football, every AFC North team would make the postseason if it started today. It's now possible for every team in a division to make the playoffs with the extra Wild Card spot and it would be the first time that it's happened.
So yes, while the Bengals are in the basement of the AFC North, they'd still be in the playoffs if they started right now. The Browns and Steelers will slip up at some point. The Ravens are really the team to worry about the most, as they've made the Lions and the Seahawks -- two good teams -- look downright awful.
The Bengals and Ravens play on Thursday Night Football in Week 11 and that game has a lot at stake. Meanwhile, the Ravens and Browns play in Week 10 and while it's painful, Bengals fans should root for the Browns to win. Passing the Browns in the standings shouldn't be as difficult as the Ravens, as they're two games ahead of Cincinnati.
It's frustrating that as the Bengals continue to win, so does the rest of the division but it'll have to slow up at some point, right?