Originally Posted by MWM
I think they could still win a playoff game. I don't know who else is going to win the division. The 2nd place AFC West team will be the 4 seed, so that means the Bengals would be playing at home against one of (most likely):
Two of those teams will make the playoffs, which is how bad the AFC is. I'm assuming Miami is going to implode as they are also 4-5. The only other possibility would be one of the 3-6 teams get on a run and win 5 or 6 of their last 7 games. I don't see Bufalo doing that, so that leaves Pittsburgh. They've got baltimore and Cleveland left, but they still have Detroit and Green Bay (after Rodgers is back). I don't see the Steelers being good enough to go on that kind of run.
I don't see any of those 4 teams the Bengals couldn't, and shouldn't, beat at home in the playoffs, even with the team as is. The AFC is 3 deep with Denver, KC, and NE. Even with all the injuries, I don't see another team in the AFC that's better than Cincinnati.
Only one of those teams will be in the playoffs, not two. There are four division winners, so the 2nd place AFC West will be the fifth seed. And then one of those teams listed will get in as the six.