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Bengals playoff chances cut in half after ugly Week 9 loss

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Once upon a time, the Cincinnati Bengals were 5-2 and sitting as the No. 1 seed in the AFC after destroying the Baltimore Ravens, 41-17, on the road. The Bengals looked like true playoff contenders. That sure feels like forever ago.

Two ugly losses to the New York Jets and Cleveland Browns later, the Bengals are now sitting at 5-4, in last place in the AFC North and in tenth in the AFC playoff standings, in the middle of a five-way tie for the final playoff spot in the AFC.

Not only that, but their chances of making the playoffs, according to ESPN’s Football Power Index, plummeted after the Browns game, being cut in half from 60 percent to just 30 percent.

ESPN’s FPI also only gives the Bengals an 8.5 percent chance to win the AFC North. You know, the one Joe Burrow said if they win it, they could win it all?

Oh, and that team the Bengals embarrassed just three weeks ago? They’re now easily the favorites in the division, according to ESPN, with a 58.5 percent chance to win the North and an 85.9 chance to make the playoffs after their come-from-behind overtime win over the Minnesota Vikings.

Amazingly, the Browns, whom the Bengals are now tied with at 5-4 (and lose the tiebreaker to) are next at 51.9 percent to make the playoffs and 20.1 percent to win the North, while the Steelers have a 37.8 percent chance to make the playoffs and a 12.9 percent chance to win the North.

As far as the other teams the Bengals are tied with in the wild card race:

  • New England Patriots – 57.1 percent

  • Kansas City Chiefs – 49.5 percent

  • Denver Broncos – 46.6 percent

So yeah, that loss to the Browns hurt in more ways than one. The Bengals now have a huge, almost must-win game in Week 11, coming off the bye, against the 5-3 Las Vegas Raiders.

List

Bengals winners and losers after blowout loss to Browns in Week 9