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Bengals control their own destiny for the No. 2 seed

Thanks to the Miami Dolphins beating the New England Patriots on Sunday, the Cincinnati Bengals can control their own destiny for the No. 2 seed. But it all starts against the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday Night Football.

Chris Trotman

The Cincinnati Bengals won't clinch a postseason berth on Sunday, but now they control their own destiny in regards to the No. 2 seed, which comes with a first-round bye. That's the early Christmas present that Miami handed Cincinnati on Sunday.

With 1:15 remaining in the fourth quarter, Ryan Tannehill completed a 14-yard touchdown to Marcus Thigpen, giving Miami a 24-20 lead. Despite New England's furious drive, that included four shots by Tom Brady into the end zone from inside Miami's 20-yard line, the Dolphins held on to win with a game-ending Michael Thomas interception.

With New England losing in Miami, the Patriots fall to 10-4 allowing the Bengals to control their own destiny as the No. 2 seed in the AFC. If the Bengals beat the Pittsburgh Steelers, they'll improve to an identical 10-4 record and replace New England as the No. 2 seed due to Cincinnati's head-to-head win over the Patriots in week five.

And if that scenario plays out, the Bengals will clinch the AFC North if the Detroit Lions can beat the Baltimore Ravens during Monday Night Football.