CORRECTION: We need to point out a correction, pointed out by reader jim0ijk, that no matter what happens the rest of the season, the Bengals can finish without requiring a tie-breaker with anyone. It's that pesky tie against the Eagles that keeps screwing the pooch. While examining only the wins for the season, we went through tie-breaker scenarios failing to acknowledge ties. So jim0ijk is right, tie-breakers do not matter if the Bengals win out and the Browns lose out. The Bengals would have the better winning percentage based on the half-win tie and finish ahead of the Browns. Still, that doesn't change anything; it still would be sweet, inbreeds or not, to have one of our worst seasons in franchise history and the Browns would finish worse than the Bengals.
Sometimes when I write half-baked posts about the Bengals, I generally think to myself, is this too obvious to write about. I mean, why at this point of the season would I write about how bad the offense stinks. I know that it stinks. You know that it stinks. The media knows that it stinks. The NFL knows that they stink. The entire world knows that they stink. So I was taken aback by an AP headline that "Ohio's NFL teams in a sorry state." Lack of feces combined with a certain late 19th century London detective comes to mind.
The question I have is, if the Bengals win out, and the Browns lose out, who would be in last place? Presuming that the NFL uses tie breaking procedures to determine who sits in last place. We can go ahead and eliminate the head-to-head tiebreaker, as well as the division record tie breaker -- both teams would tie with a 1-5 division record each.
The Bengals edge out the Browns with the tie-breaker of record in common games. The Bengals are 1-10-1 and the Browns would be 1-11 (presuming they lose to the Steelers). So as bad as this season seemed (bull, it was still a really bad season), there's a chance that the Bengals finish the season not in the AFC North's basement. Control your own destiny, win out and hope that the Steelers don't lay a duck by resting their starters during their week 17 match-up. Then we could say, "Yea, we were bad. But not as bad as the Browns."