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NFL Playoff Picture: Bengals stayin’ alive

The Bengals are doing their best rendition of the Bee Gees and just stayin’ alive.

NFL: Cleveland Browns at Cincinnati Bengals David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports

The Cincinnati Bengals’ slim playoff odds didn’t get much help in Week 12.

Despite a win over the Cleveland Browns, Cincinnati didn’t gain any ground in the AFC playoff standings thanks to win by seemingly every playoff contender. That included wins by the Buffalo Bills, Baltimore Ravens, San Diego Chargers and Oakland Raiders.

The Bengals remain bunched up with them for one of those final Wild Card spots in the AFC. There was a bit of good news in the Jacksonville Jaguars losing to the Arizona Cardinals. That dropped Jacksonville out of the AFC South lead and into a Wild Card spot.

Even so, the Bengals are effectively three games behind the Jaguars thanks to their head-to-head win. As flawed as they are, it’s hard to see the Jaguars losing enough games down the stretch for Cincinnati to pass them.

However, Baltimore is barely holding onto that sixth and final playoff spot. Both the Bengals and Ravens will have tough tests in Week 13. The Bengals host the Steelers on Monday Night Football, while the Ravens host the Lions on Sunday.

Here is a look at the AFC playoff picture entering Week 13:


  1. Pittsburgh Steelers (9-2)
  2. New England Patriots (9-2)
  3. Tennessee Titans (7-4)
  4. Kansas City Chiefs (6-5)
  5. Jacksonville Jaguars (7-4)
  6. Baltimore Ravens (6-5)

In the hunt:

Still technically alive:


Cleveland Browns (0-11)