Looking at AFC playoff picture after bye

The AFC North is wide open for the Bengals to take control of with eight games to go. After a bye weekend in which the Ravens and Browns both lost and the Steelers tied, Cincinnati now ranks No. 3 in the division.

If the playoffs started this weekend, the Bengals would the No. 8 seed and would not make the cut.

The current AFC playoff picture

1. Tennessee Titans, 8-2

2. Buffalo Bills, 6-3

3. Baltimore Ravens, 6-3

4. Kansas City Chiefs, 6-4 

5. Pittsburgh Steelers, 5-3-1

6. New England Patriots, 6-4

7. Los Angeles Chargers, 5-4 (Third wild card)

On the bubble: Cincinnati Bengals: 5-4, Las Vegas Raiders: 5-4, Indianapolis Colts: 5-5, Cleveland Browns: 5-5, Denver Broncos: 5-4

Cincinnati Bengals head coach Zac Taylor looks on as the Bengals go for a two-point conversion in the fourth quarter of the NFL Week 9 game between the Cincinnati Bengals and the Cleveland Browns at Paul Brown Stadium in Cincinnati on Sunday, Nov. 7, 2021. Cleveland kept a halftime lead to clinch a 41-16 win over the Bengals.

The Bengals sit behind Baltimore and Pittsburgh in the AFC North despite beating both teams due to overall record. Both the Ravens and Steelers have three losses, Cincinnati has four. The Bengals play the Ravens and Steelers at home and travel to Cleveland in the final week of the regular season.

Right behind the Bengals in the Wild Card race are the Raiders who are coming off two consecutive losses to the Chiefs and the Giants. Las Vegas and Cincinnati meet this weekend and if the Bengals and it’s a huge game in terms of potential playoff seeding.

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