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Big-time playoff implications: Bengals vs. Browns

Implications. Implications. Implications. A 5-9 team could fire a shockwave that creates one twist in the playoffs. To screw up the Browns chances. What a moment of saving grace that could be artificially installed to make this season, a finger-tip better. Bengals win and pumped, second-wind, Titans fans rejoice at the new lease on playoff life.

Since the Titans haven't played the Browns, the first applicable tie-breaker is conference record. The Titans are 5-5 and the Browns are 7-4. If the Titans win out, their conference record jumps to 7-5 -- identical record if the Bengals beat the Browns. But the Titans can't succeed without the Browns losing to Cincinnati. And the Titans have to win both to tie the #2 tie-breaker (#1 is the head-to-head) which can't happen if the Browns beat the Bengals. Hence, if the Browns win -- or if the Titans lose -- Cleveland clinches a playoff berth.

To know that the Bengals can dictate this, is something to look forward to. And if there's nothing to play for, to deaden the Browns chances only makes this blogger smile.