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How Bengals can clinch AFC North title or wild card playoff berth in Week 17

The Bengals have impressed under second year QB Joe Burrow and can clinch the AFC North in Week 17. We break down what they need to do and where they can land in the 2022 NFL playoffs.

Joe Burrow #9 of the Cincinnati Bengals in the huddle during the first half against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Paul Brown Stadium on November 28, 2021 in Cincinnati, Ohio. Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images

Result: Bengals beat Chiefs 34-31 to clinch AFC North title — In a thrilling come from behind victory on Sunday against the Chiefs, Cincinnati has now won the AFC North for the first time since 2015.

The Kansas City Chiefs hit the road to take on the Cincinnati Bengals in Week 17 of the NFL season. Kickoff from Paul Brown Stadium in Cincinnati, Ohio is set for 1:00 p.m. ET with the game airing on CBS. While the Chiefs have already locked down their division, the Bengals are looking to clinch the AFC North this week.

The Bengals are 9-6 and have a one-game lead over the Baltimore Ravens and a two-game lead over both the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Cleveland Browns in their division. Here are the various clinching scenarios for the Bengals to secure either the AFC North division title OR a playoff berth this week:

Cincinnati clinches AFC North division title with:

  1. CIN win OR
  2. CIN tie + BAL loss or tie OR
  3. BAL loss + CLE-PIT tie

Cincinnati clinches playoff berth with:

  1. CIN tie + LAC loss + LV loss + MIA loss or tie OR
  2. CIN tie + LAC loss + LV loss + NE loss OR
  3. CIN tie + LAC loss + LV tie + MIA loss or tie + NE win OR
  4. CIN tie + LAC loss + LV tie + NE tie + MIA tie + BUF win or tie OR
  5. CIN tie + LAC loss + LV tie + NE loss + MIA win + BUF win or tie

The Bengals control their own destiny needing a win to not only be in the playoffs but also to win their first divisional title since 2015. With only one spot secured in the AFC playoff chase, there is still a way for the Bengals to miss the playoffs even being the 3-seed heading into today’s games.

The Bengals came into the 2021 season with hopeful albeit low expectations. DraftKings Sportsbook installed them at +500 to claim any kind of playoff berth this season.