CINCINNATI, Ohio (WCMH) — The Cincinnati Bengals already know they will play in an NFL playoff game for the first-time since 2015 with seeding and the first opponent still unknown heading into Week 18.
The Bengals will be in Cleveland on Sunday to face the Browns to conclude the regular season. Multiple key starters will be out for the game including quarterback Joe Burrow (sitting out) and running back Joe Mixon (Reserve/COVID list).
While the AFC North division title is secure, at stake for the Bengals is a chance to earn the only bye in the AFC. Here are the two scenarios where Cincinnati would earn home-field advantage and sit out Wild Card weekend, according to NFL.com:
Bengals WIN + Chiefs LOSS to Broncos + Titans LOSS to Texans + Patriots LOSS/TIE vs. Dolphins
Bengals WIN + Chiefs LOSS to Broncos + Titans LOSS to Texans + Bills LOSS to Jets
The Chiefs take on the Broncos on Saturday afternoon and a Chiefs win will eliminate the Bengals chance for the top-seed before taking the field on Sunday.
The Bengals are guaranteed a top-four seed as division champions, but a Wild Card weekend opponent remains a mystery with numerous teams still in the playoff picture.
The Bengals haven’t won a playoff game since 1990 with a 41-14 win over the Houston Oilers at Riverfront Stadium.