Though Cincinnati fans already saw their team play this week on Thursday Night Football, all is not lost on a Bengal-less Sunday. There is still plenty for the Who Dey faithful to indulge in.
First and foremost, Cincinnati will be watching their division foes closely. Both Pittsburgh and Baltimore face matchups that may prove favorable for the Bengals. The Steelers head to Dallas and the Ravens welcome Denver on Sunday afternoon. If the Cowboys were to come out on top of the Steelers, then the Bengals will own the last AFC Playoff spot outright heading into next week’s showdown in the Steel City.
If Baltimore were to fall to the Broncos at home, the Ravens would only be one game up on the Bengals for the division title with only two games left in the season. If they then went to lose next week and Cincinnati comes up with the win in Pittsburgh, the Ravens and Bengals would matchup for the AFC North title to close out the regular season.
Some other great matchups to watch are the Houston Texans vs the Indianapolis Colts and the New England Patriots vs the San Francisco 49ers. Both the Texans and Patriots are battling it out for the top seed in the AFC. If the Bengals were to make it past the first round of the playoffs, they will have to face whoever captures the coveted top spot in the conference.
On the NFC side, there is plenty of action to peak football fans’ attention. With the NFC East wide open, all eyes will be on the Redskins facing off against the Browns, Dallas and Pittsburgh, and the New York Giants in Atlanta.
Just like the Steelers, Dallas must win to stay alive. They will be looking to destroy the Steelers in front of their home town fans in Cowboys Stadium. If they can get the win and the Redskins lose without RGIII, the Cowboys will have the chance to swipe that lead spot waiting for Seattle or Chicago to tumble to get into the Wild Card.
A new rookie will be on display when the Redskins take the field today. Kirk Cousins will try to keep his team’s playoff hopes alive in his first start of the season with the Robert Griffin III knee injury. Seattle and Chicago currently own the last two playoff spots in NFC by only a one game lead over Washington, Dallas, and Minnesota.
Chicago heads to Green Bay on Sunday afternoon for an, always fun, divisional matchup. Currently, the Packers are leading the NFC North division by one game. If the Bears were to get the win today, they would tie up the top of the division and secure a playoff berth. However, if Green Bay is successful, the Packers would seal the deal on the division and leave the door open for those outside teams looking in to come in and steal Chicago’s Wild Card spot.
Seattle will take on a Buffalo team that has nothing to lose when they take the field for the second round of matchups on Sunday. The Seahawks also have the chance to wreak havoc in their division on the leading 49ers team. If they get the win today, the 49ers will not own the division title outright when they take the field against a dynamic Pats team on Sunday night. However, if the Bills get the upset, Washington, Dallas, or Minnesota would have the opportunity to march right in to the NFC Playoff talks.
It’s football Sunday Bengals fans and your team has already won! Let’s sit back and watch the playoff picture unfold.