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.
Bengals have to finish better than Indy (including beating them on Dec 8) in order to get the 3 seed and play one of the teams you listed above. Otherwise, we'll get Denver or KC, and that will probably be the end (especially if it's Denver).