The Bengals are playing on Monday night, which means they have a pretty good idea about where they stand in the race for the playoffs.
The Bengals didn’t get too much help this week. The Ravens defeated the Lions pretty easily. That means they are 7-5 and sitting pretty in the sixth seed. The other teams in front of the Bengals for the final playoff spot also fared pretty well. The Chargers took care of the Browns, and the Raiders also moved up to 6-6 to jump in front of the Bengals for now.
The only help the Bengals seemed to get was the Patriots taking care of the Bills to knock them down to 6-6. The Bills more importantly seemed to have lost Tyrod Taylor to injury, which would effectively put an end to their season if he can't return.
The Bengals are sitting at 5-6, and they can’t afford to lose to the Steelers Monday night. If the Bengals drop to 5-7 they will need way too much help from other teams in order to make it.
At this point the Bengals need to go on quite the winning streak, and they need almost everyone else to lose most of their games down the stretch. It does help that the Bengals still play the Ravens during the last week of the season, but the Bengals still need the Ravens to drop most of their remaining games.
Leading up until the playoffs, the Bengals are still keeping their hopes alive, and an upset against Pittsburgh has a big effect on that. It wouldn’t put the Bengals in the driver seat though. The Bengals will still have games against the Lions and Vikings left this season, and neither game feels like an easy matchup considering how the Bengals have played at times. Even the Bengals game against the Bears seems iffy considering how they seem to somehow be in every game.
Meanwhile the Ravens play the Colts and Browns after their game against the Steelers next week. Needless to say that is a pretty cake schedule. The Steelers almost have to beat the Ravens for the Bengaos to have any realistic shot at the playoffs it seems.
The fact is the Bengals will have to hope bad teams will be capable of helping them out isn’t the most ideal situation, but at least the Bengals still have to shot. Considering the Bengals start to the season, it seems like the team has finally landed on its feet.
The main question on everyone’s mind is will a late push be enough for the Bengals to end up in the postseason. It seems like the Bengals are still are a pretty far way off from actually having a chance. Whether the Bengals beat the Steelers will probably have the biggest impact on their chances. Cincinnati has to reach 6-6 to keep pace with the rest of the teams in the hint. Otherwise they essentially have to win out, and still hope for a few miracle upsets. Either way it is pretty noble how far they have fought back since starting out the season oat 0-3.
At this rate I think most fans are happy the Bengals are holding onto that thread for at least another game.