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Where the Bengals stand in AFC playoff picture following big win vs. Colts

The Bengals are making a serious push to make the NFL Playoffs.

Indianapolis Colts v Cincinnati Bengals Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images

Update: After the Denver Broncos beat the Los Angeles Chargers, that knocked the Bengals out of the final Wild Card spot.

Because of all the weird tie-breaking rules, the Bengals actually went from the No. 7 spot earlier Sunday to No. 10 by day’s end.

In other words, the Bengals need to keep winning while also getting plenty of help to earn one of those final spots in the 2023 AFC Playoffs.


After Joe Burrow suffered a season-ending injury in the Cincinnati Bengals’ Thursday night loss to the Baltimore Ravens, the season looked left for dead.

A home loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers a week after Burrow’s injury pushed Cincinnati to 5-6, making matters even worse.

Now, the team is fully back in the postseason mix.

Back-to-back wins over the Jacksonville Jaguars and Indianapolis Colts without Burrow and with Jake Browning at quarterback have the Bengals back above .500 and back in the postseason picture.

With the win over the Colts, Cincinnati now owns the tiebreaker in the AFC standings over Indianapolis (7-6), and with the Houston Texans (7-6) loss to the New York Jets, it’s the Bengals who control the 7-seed in the AFC Playoff Picture as of Sunday evening.

ESPN’s playoff standings explain the current three-way tie between the Bengals, Colts, and Texans.

“Wins tie break over Indianapolis based on head-to-head win percentage. Division tie break was initially used to eliminate Houston (Indianapolis wins tie break over Houston based on head-to-head win percentage).”

The Denver Broncos and Buffalo Bills could also move to 7-6 this afternoon, but the Bengals have a head-to-head win over Buffalo.

We’ll see what that means for tiebreakers, but for now, the Bengals are back in as a playoff team if the season ended right now.

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