How the Bengals could get the third seed with a loss

We mentioned Monday that the Bengals could still be the third seed in the AFC playoffs, even if they lose to the Jets Sunday night.

The Elias Sports Bureau, courtesy of the Cincinnati Enquirer, explains how.

Cincinnati can pass New England in the strength of victory tiebreaker if the Bengals and Patriots both lose and the following happens.

Cleveland beats Jacksonville.

Pittsburgh beats Miami.

Indianapolis beats Buffalo.

And any of the following happens: Baltimore beats Oakland, Green Bay
beats Arizona, Kansas City beats Denver, New Orleans beats Carolina,
Seattle beats Tennessee.

While that combination of events isn’t especially likely, it’s more likely than, say, the Dolphins or Jaguars making the playoffs.  If the first three games are even odds, we’d approximate the  chances of all this happening at roughly 10%.  Not that crazy.

There are also scenarios for the Bengals to pass New England if both teams win, which can be viewed here.

Our crack NBC research staff also confirms there could be other combinations of the scenario above that could hypothetically get Cincinnati to move up, however unlikely.

At any rate, we continue to hear national outlets say the Bengals will be the fourth seed if they lose.  We won’t know if that’s true until Sunday afternoon at the earliest.

26 responses to “How the Bengals could get the third seed with a loss


  1. And any of the following happens: Baltimore beats Oakland, Green Bay beats Arizona, Kansas City beats Denver, New Orleans beats Carolina, Seattle beats Tennessee.

    Green Bay beating Arizona and New Orleans beating Carolina has nothing to do with the Playoff Seeding in the AFC
    What are you ppl smoking? I want some

  2. Hush, Gregg!
    Bengals, ignore all this. Just win. You don’t want to go into the playoffs for the first time in four years on a loss, do you? Come on, fellas. Play your hearts out!

  3. Play the game to win. Who cares who your opponent is in the playoffs. If your scared of any particular team, you shouldn’t be in the show!

  4. @lightningrod
    It’s the Strength of Victory tiebreaker, and since the Patriots have beaten the Panthers and the Bengals beat the Packers those two games could have an impact on the AFC playoffs

  5. “Green Bay beating Arizona and New Orleans beating Carolina has nothing to do with the Playoff Seeding in the AFC
    What are you ppl smoking? I want some”
    I don’t feel like looking into the rules, but I’m guessing it could come into play for strength of opponents that the Bengals played.

  6. Green Bay beating Arizona and New Orleans beating Carolina has nothing to do with the Playoff Seeding in the AFC
    What are you ppl smoking? I want some
    —————————
    As it says in the third sentence, it has to do with strength of schedule (victory). NFC losses can affect AFC seeding if the tiebreaker goes to strength of schedule, which it obviously does here

  7. lightningrod, you’re an idiot. Did you even read what he wrote? It’s about strength of schedule. Well played.

  8. Hey lightningrod —
    New England played lost to New Orleans and beat Carolina and the Bengals beat Green Bay. So it effects strength of victories.

  9. I don’t know if anybody, including the Pats and Bengals, care who is seeded 3rd or 4th.
    I’m guessing Brady sits for the 2nd half of their game regardless of what the score is.

  10. oh ok
    so in reality, I was the idiot
    wow, that feels so weird
    feels like a Twilight Zone episode
    that was extremely bizarre
    maybe I need to ‘start’ smoking something
    LOL

  11. @TheWizard …
    So … if the Pats and Bengals wind up facing each other in the conference championship, you don’t think it will matter to either team whether they play the game in New England or Cincinnati?

  12. That’s something to play for.
    It just never occurred to me that the Bengals would be in the conference championship.
    Silly me.

  13. Doesn’t really matter who’s the 3rd or 4th seed.
    Neither the Pats nor Bengals have shown enough consistency to be able to get by the Colts or Chargers on the road. The Bengals can’t score and the Pats defense is very average when they matchup against a quality team.

  14. # kravon says: December 30, 2009 10:17 PM
    Moot point, its the Chargers conference to lose this year.

    Ya, just like 2006…And they did a heck of a job doing it too! I remember the roided up Merriman bragging at a rally how they were going to “punch Brady in the mouth.”

  15. “Moot point, its the Chargers conference to lose this year.”
    ROFL that’s what the San Diego Chokers say every year…

  16. Uh Laxer:
    “Neither the Pats nor Bengals have shown enough consistency to be able to get by the Colts or Chargers on the road.”
    Obviously you didn’t watch the IND/NE or CIN/SD games…..

  17. How many times have I seen Laxer make a moronic statement with no backing, here is another example. Last second 54 yard gamne winning field goal does not count as not being able to play on the road with the Chargers, nice try dude.

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