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Bengals want Chargers to lose Saturday night

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The Cincinnati Bengals could clinch a postseason berth on Sunday, well before they play on Monday. This scenario requires a win on Saturday night by the San Francisco 49ers.

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

No, this isn't some petty hope-they-lose perspective about a team that personally drove a stake through Cincinnati's postseason heart last year. And if we were playing that game, we'd have a greater bone to pick with San Diego's opponent in San Francisco, who are staring down a mountain of distractions that requires resolution in the offseason. We're literally licking their tears of sadness for sustenance. So San Diego, you have nothing to fear.

The Bengals will qualify for a postseason berth with a win over the Denver Broncos on Monday Night Football. A win plus losses by the Pittsburgh Steelers and Baltimore Ravens hands them the AFC North Championship.

However, there is one scenario in which Cincinnati could clinch a postseason berth before they play on Monday Night. If the San Diego Chargers lose, it secures one of three favorable outcomes for Cincinnati to clinch a postseason berth. They also need losses by the Kansas City Chiefs and Buffalo Bills (who could also tie).

Here's the thinking for THIS scenario.

SATURDAY NIGHT

San Diego at San Francisco: You want San Diego to lose.

SUNDAY

Kansas City Chiefs at Pittsburgh Steelers: I'm alright with either scenario here. If the Chiefs lose then that satisfies two of Cincinnati's three requirements to clinch Sunday. On the other hand, the win empowers Pittsburgh and... f*ck Pittsburgh. Go Chiefs.

Buffalo Bills at Oakland Raiders: You hope for the Raiders but. Right. This would be the third requirement to clinch without even taking the field.