Even though the Bengals currently own the sixth and final Wild Card spot in the AFC, it's easy to see why not many believe they'll actually hold on, to make it to the postseason. We're talking about a Bengals team that's gone 2-3-1 over their past six games while getting beaten by a combined score of 94-20 by the Colts, Patriots and Browns.
The Football Outsiders don't foresee Cincinnati making it to the playoff for what would be a fourth straight season. They projected the Steelers to win the sixth and final spot, with the Ravens taking the AFC North. None of the four AFC North teams have done enough to make you feel confident they'll even get into the playoffs, but not many foresee the Ravens and Steelers being the two teams to make it out of the North.
Here is their reasoning on why Pittsburgh gets in over Cincinnati:
It seems like maybe we should disqualify teams from the postseason for losing to the Bucs and Jets, but that's not actually how the NFL's system works. And when we look at Pittsburgh's entire resume, with the big wins and the crazy losses, we still rank the Steelers as the second-best team in the AFC North and thus more likely than Cleveland or Cincinnati to sneak into the second wild-card spot. That playoff race would certainly be more fun if Cleveland and Pittsburgh hadn't played both their games already.
Houston Texans | 4-5 | Total playoff odds: 5.4%
Cleveland Browns | 6-3 | Total playoff odds: 41.6%
Miami Dolphins | 5-4 | Total playoff odds: 41.2%
Buffalo Bills | 5-4 | Total playoff odds: 18.3%
Cincinnati Bengals | 5-3-1 | Total playoff odds: 14.8%
San Diego Chargers | 5-4 | Total playoff odds: 13.6%
At this point, this is probably a fair projection. The Steelers may be the worst team in the AFC North, but their schedule the rest of the way should easily put them at 9-to-10 wins.