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What seed can Bengals be in the 2022 NFL Playoffs?

The Cincinnati Bengals are headed to the playoffs. We break down their seeding possibilities.

Cincinnati Bengals logo before the game against the Green Bay Packers and the Cincinnati Bengals on October 10, 2021, at Paul Brown Stadium in Cincinnati, OH. Photo by Ian Johnson/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Sunday early game update: Cincinnati fell to the Browns 21-16 on Sunday and that officially took the No. 2 seed off the table. The Bengals are still in play for the No. 3 seed, but they’d need losses by both the Bills and Patriots for that to happen. Otherwise, they’ll be the No. 4 seed in the AFC playoffs.

Saturday update: The Chiefs beat the Broncos 28-24. That locks in the Chiefs at no worse than the No. 2 seed and potentially the No. 1 seed if the Titans lose. The Bengals can no longer clinch the No. 1 seed, but still could end up as high as No. 2.

The Cincinnati Bengals are on fire right now and with big wins against the Ravens and Chiefs over the last two weeks, they secured the AFC North and the No. 4 seed at worst. They still have a shot at the No. 1, 2, or 3 seed, but they appear to be set on resting players, including quarterback Joe Burrow, which puts them as 6-point underdogs to the Browns over at DraftKings Sportsbook.

The Browns will also be without their starting quarterback and could limit Nick Chubb who is dealing with an injury, so a win isn’t out of the picture for the Bengals even with their “B” team. One likely reason they are resting some starters is because the odds are against them of moving up in the seeding, as they need one of the Chiefs or Titans, who are big favorites in their matchups, to lose.

It does still seem odd that head coach Zac Taylor already said he was resting players though. The Chiefs play on Saturday and if they were to be upset by the Broncos, the Bengals would only need to beat a bad Browns team to secure the No. 2 seed, which means an assured home game in the Divisional Round if they get there.

Relevant games impacting seeding for the Bengals include:

Bengals @ Browns
Titans @ Texans
Chiefs @ Broncos
Patriots @ Dolphins
Jets @ Bills

All seeding possibilities are broken down through NFLPlayoffScenarios.com.

How they can be No. 1 seed

  1. CIN win + TEN loss + KC loss + NE loss/tie, OR
  2. CIN win + TEN loss + KC loss + BUF win

How they can be No. 2 seed

  1. CIN win + TEN win/tie + KC loss + NE loss/tie, OR
  2. CIN win + TEN win/tie + KC loss + BUF win, OR
  3. CIN win + TEN loss + KC win/tie + NE loss/tie, OR
  4. CIN win + TEN loss + KC win/tie + BUF win, OR
  5. CIN win + TEN loss + KC loss + BUF loss/tie + NE win

How they can be No. 3 seed

  1. CIN win + TEN win/tie + KC win/tie + NE loss/tie, OR
  2. CIN win + TEN win/tie + KC win/tie + BUF win, OR
  3. CIN win + TEN win/tie + KC loss + BUF loss/tie + NE win, OR
  4. CIN win + TEN loss + KC win/tie + BUF loss/tie + NE win, OR
  5. CIN tie + BUF tie + NE loss/tie, OR
  6. CIN loss/tie + BUF loss + NE loss

How they can be No. 4 seed

  1. CIN win + TEN win/tie + KC win/tie + BUF loss/tie + NE win, OR
  2. CIN tie + BUF win, OR
  3. CIN tie + NE win, OR
  4. CIN tie + BUF loss + NE tie, OR
  5. CIN loss + BUF win/tie, OR
  6. CIN loss + NE win/tie