The 2018 Bengals have been eliminated from playoff contention.
This marks the third-straight season in which the Bengals have been eliminated from playoff contention. Just like the other two, Cincinnati did just enough to keep some sliver of hope alive going into the final weeks.
Even had the Steelers and/or Titans lost, the Bengals were facing an uphill climb to make the postseason. To win a Wild Card spot, they would have needed to win out and have the Titans, Ravens and Colts lose out while the Dolphins lose at least one more game.
To win the AFC North, Cincinnati would have had to win out and beat the Steelers in Week 17, who would also have to lose next week to the Saints, and then have the Ravens lose next week to the Chargers and again in Week 17 to the Browns.
Both of those scenarios were highly unlikely, but it would have been nice to have something to play for in these final two games. It would have been even sweeter to face the Steelers in Week 17 with the AFC North on the line.
Now, the Bengals just have their pride to play for when they face the Browns and Steelers in the next two weeks.