After 11 weeks, the Bengals are currently on the outside looking in. But with only 6 games to go, the Bengals find themselves squarely in the playoff hunt.
Thanks to a big Bengals win over a woeful Chiefs team, and losses by both the Steelers & Colts... the AFC playoff race is shaping up into an open fight for 2 wildcard spots.
The division leaders all have a strong foothold on their divisions:
+ New England has a 3 game lead on the Jets / Bills / Dolphins
+ Baltimore has a 2 game lead on the Steelers
+ Houston has a 3 game lead on the Colts
+ Denver has a 3 game lead on the Chargers
Assuming these division winners hold onto their big division leads, the Bengals are hunting for a wild card spot. The wild card standings:
+ Indy 6-4
+ Pitt 6-4
+ Cincy 5-5
+ Five teams at 4-6
So the Bengals basically have 6 weeks to catch or pass either the Colts and/or the Steelers.
Indy has: BUF, at DET, TEN, at HOU, at KC, HOU
Pitt has: at CLE, at BAL, SD, at DAL, CIN, CLE
Cincy has: OAK, at SD, DAL, at PHI, at PIT, BAL
Cincy has 4 straight games that are very winnable: Oakland is 3-7, San Diego is 4-6, Dallas is 5-5, and Philly is 3-7 Cincy’s biggest weakness over the last 2 seasons has been facing good QB’s. In these 4 games, Cincy gets to face 3 of the most prolific INT throwers: Rivers (#1), Romo (#2), and Palmer (#7), not to mention a rookie QB in N Foles for the Eagles. And none of these QB’s are top 10 passers.
After the winnable stretch, the Bengals have to earn their playoff spot. A head-to-head matchup with Pittsburgh, who is currently ahead of them – so a win to deserve to get in. And then a showdown at home vs. Baltimore. Just like last year, Cincy may be playing in week 17 vs. Baltimore for entry into playoffs, against a Ravens team w/nothing left to play for at that point.
Bengals' playoff chances....
Forget wildcard...they are going to win the division! (6 votes)
They will pass Pittsburgh AND Indy to get a wildcard spot (12 votes)
They will pass either Pittsburgh or Indy to get a wildcard spot (42 votes)
They will likely finish just outside of the wildcard spot (20 votes)
They will finish with a horrible (Browns-like) season, after losing their next 6 games (0 votes)
Playoffs? Playoffs? I just want me some choc chip cookies! With milk! (0 votes)
80 total votes