The Cincinnati Bengals are guaranteed a playoff spot, but who they will face is still up in the air. They could potentially grab the top seed and a first round bye, though they would have to beat the Buffalo Bills on Monday then the Baltimore Ravens in Week 18, and the Kansas City Chiefs would have to lose a game.
As things stand, the Bengals are most likely to end up with the third seed and a home playoff game in the Wild Card Round (33% chance). Of course, by losing their last two, they would start the postseason on the road as either the fifth seed (19% chance) or as the sixth seed (9%).
There is a reasonable chance the Bengals end up with the number two seed (29%) and a distant possibility they get the top seed (9%).
Playoff odds per https://t.co/sebv9UT1no— Cincy James (@cincyjames83) December 27, 2022
-Bills & Chiefs favorites for 1 seed
-Bengals anywhere from 1 to 6, but not 4
-Jags & Titans fighting for the 4
-Ravens most likely a WC
-Chargers probably 5
-Dolphins, Pats, Steelers, Jets, Titans, Jags, Raiders all still alive. pic.twitter.com/QmWz8YeHhj
A lot will be determined in Week 17, when the Chiefs host the Denver Broncos and the Ravens host the Pittsburgh Steelers.
NFL Playoff Scenarios for Week 17: pic.twitter.com/xiz9T1NUBF— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) December 27, 2022
Currently, the Bengals are slated to play the Los Angeles Chargers (9-6) in the first round. But according to the great Joe Goodberry, Cincinnati will likely see the Ravens (10-5) for the third time this year. With Baltimore struggling in recent weeks, that could prove to be a favorable matchup.
Unless the Chargers go full Chargers in these final 3 games,— Goodberry (@JoeGoodberry) December 25, 2022
The Bengals most likely postseason opponent is the Ravens. Either hosting them or going to Baltimore.
Next likely is hosting the Dolphins in Cincinnati.
Because every playoff position other than the fourth seed is still a possibility, the Bengals could play any of the teams currently scheduled to make the playoffs, from the Buffalo Bills (12-3) and Kansas City Chiefs (12-3) to the Jacksonville Jaguars (7-8) and Miami Dolphins (8-7).
Other AFC teams still in the hunt are the New England Patriots (7-8), New York Jets (7-8), Tennessee Titans (7-8), Pittsburgh Steelers (7-8), and the Las Vegas Raiders (6-9).
After the Chiefs and the Bills, the only AFC teams that seem to be trending in a positive direction right now are the Jaguars, Chargers, and maybe the Steelers.
So, assuming the Bengals don’t get a bye, who is your preferred opponent?
Who do you hope the Bengals face in the first round?
This poll is closed
For now, though, the Bengals must focus on finishing the regular season strong, beginning with a huge showdown against the Bills. For an elaborate preview of that game, watch below:
You can also listen on iTunes or using the player below: