Here's How the Bengals Can Clinch the AFC North Title in Week 17

Tyler Maher
Here's how the Cincinnati Bengals can clinch the AFC North title in Week 17.
Here's how the Cincinnati Bengals can clinch the AFC North title in Week 17. / ASSOCIATED PRESS

After a bumpy start to the season, it's been mostly smooth sailing for the Cincinnati Bengals. They enter Week 17 at 11-4 with a chance to clinch the AFC North for the second year in a row.

Cincinnati Bengals AFC North

Since the Bengals only lead the division by one game over the Baltimore Ravens with two to play, there are a pair of scenarios in which Cincy can lock up the AFC North this week. The first is a Bengals win and a Ravens loss/tie, while the second is a Cincinnati tie and a Baltimore loss.

If the Ravens win, however, the Bengals won't be able to clinch this week. Baltimore has a friendly home matchup against the 7-8 Pittsburgh Steelers, whom they recently defeated in Week 14 without Lamar Jackson. Jackson could potentially return from his knee injury this week, too, which would boost the Ravens' chances even more. They're currently listed as 3-point home favorites on FanDuel Sportsbook's NFL odds.

On the plus side, at least Cincinnati will know where things stand when the Bengals take the field on Monday Night Football against the Buffalo Bills. The 12-3 Bills are one of just two AFC teams with a better record than them (the Kansas City Chiefs are the other). Buffalo is also vying for the top seed in the AFC, so this potential AFC Championship Game preview should be a hard-fought affair. FanDuel Sportsbook's NFL odds agree, tabbing the Bills as 1.5-point road favorites.

As such, there's a good chance the AFC North won't be decided until the regular-season finale in Week 18, but this is shaping up to be an exciting week of football nevertheless.

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