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Bengals hold onto the third seed in the AFC

No one is giving up on this team. No one. We're still 9-4 with a firm butt in the captain's chair to make the playoffs. Why would anyone give up now? Yes, this team is having a rough go of it. Since beating the Steelers on November 15 to go 7-2, they've lost to Oakland, beat the Browns by nine points and the Lions by ten points before losing to the Minnesota Vikings by 20.

Are the Bengals losing steam, or are they like predator playing dead ready to strike like they've done during several of their wins this year?

Either way, the playoff picture is clearing up for the Bengals and the AFC.

Cincinnati remains the third seed in the AFC and if the season ends today, they'd host a Wild Card game against the Jacksonville Jaguars. The Colts have clinched homefield advantage and the only interesting thing from now until the playoffs for Indianapolis is whether or not they'll go undefeated. Actually, the more interesting story is whether or not the Colts should play their starters in the final game of the year if 16-0 is on the line.

A big game looms with massive playoff implications for Cincinnati and San Diego this weekend. A win for Cincinnati does two things. One, it clinches the AFC North and a playoff spot. Two, it gives Cincinnati the tie-breaker for the second seed -- which means a bye week and hosting every other AFC team except for the Colts -- with the Jets and Chiefs left on the schedule. Here's the breakdown.

Seed Team Record
1 Indianapolis Colts 13-0
2 San Diego Chargers 10-3
3 Cincinnati Bengals 9-4
4 New England Patriots 8-5
5 Denver Broncos 8-5
6 Jacksonville Jaguars 7-6
  Baltimore Ravens 7-6
  Miami Dolphins 7-6
  New York Jets 7-6