You read the headline right – the Cincinnati Bengals are going to the playoffs. We’re sure of that. You may be wondering how it’s possible. After all, aren’t they 3-4-1 with a referee-funded loss to hated divisional rival Pittsburgh? Yes, and heck yes. But dig deeper into those numbers and you’ll see why this team is in prime position to play more than 16 games. We know they can do it. In fact, we know they will do it. And here are our 5 reasons to back that up.
Cincinnati Bengals Will Make the Postseason for These 5 Reasons
1. The second half of the schedule is easier. The Cincinnati Bengals have played 4 teams this season who either lead their division or are tied for the lead. They play 2 the rest of the year (of those who are leading their divisions now). One will be a rematch against the Steelers in Cincinnati. Their remaining opponents are a combined 27-32. Murderer’s Row, this ain’t.
2. Tyler Eifert is back. Even though Andy Dalton and company have been solid, the Cincinnati Bengals have missed Pro-Bowler Eifert (and his 6’6 frame) over the middle. Because he’s a big target, he creates big matchup problems for opposing defenses. Defenses that are also trying to cover A.J. Green.
3. The running game is hitting its stride. The Bengals have rushed for 962 yards this year, good for fifth in the league. That’s reason enough to be excited – but that isn’t even the strength of the offense! Plus, that total includes games against the Steelers (12th-ranked rushing defense in the NFL), Dallas Cowboys (7th) and New York Jets (4th).
4. They’re only a half-game out of first in the AFC North. Cincinnati has some bad losses this year. But it’s not like they are a mile away from the playoffs, like some other Ohio-based pro football team we know. They’re in a good spot. And considering their remaining opponents have a winning percentage of .457, they are in a great spot.
5. They have 4 division games left. That’s huge because of point #4. Furthermore, any win in those games is doubly good for Cincinnati and doubly bad for their opponents. Beat Pittsburgh and they lose the head-to-head tiebreaker advantage. Sweep the Baltimore Ravens and you have one less team to contend with for a wild-card berth. Sounds good to us.