clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Bengals can clinch playoff spot as early as Thursday night

The Jaguars could give the Bengals an early Christmas present this year.

Cincinnati Bengals v Tampa Bay Buccaneers Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images

The NFL playoffs are quickly approaching, and there is plenty of competition for the spots in the AFC.

The AFC North division title and No. 1 seed for the Cincinnati Bengals seem to be more of the focus for the fans right now, but the team finds themselves in an interesting position heading into this week.

If the Jacksonville Jaguars defeat the New York Jets on Thursday Night Football, then the Bengals clinch their playoff spot.

Calculating tiebreakers and all of that is such a complicated process, especially when you consider all the things that go into it like division or conference records. Every so often towards the end of the year you get scenarios just like this one where a team doesn’t need to play to have something good happen if another team just loses.

The Jaguars have been a dangerous team the past few weeks. They just defeated the Tennessee Titans and Dallas Cowboys the past two weeks, and still have an outside shot at a playoff spot themselves. The Jets are coming off a rough loss where they absolutely shot themselves in the foot too many times, and they are on a three game losing streak. So it is entirely possible this actually plays out.

If Cincinnati defeats the Patriots this week they would also punch their ticket to the playoffs as well as at least a Wild Card. However, this team is obviously trying to stay ahead of the Baltimore Ravens while keeping pace with the Kansas City Chiefs and Buffalo Bills for that top seed in the AFC.

Still, even just making the playoffs after starting 0-2 is a feat all its own. In fact, they will be the first team in the last three seasons to make the playoffs after starting off the year with two losses.