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NFL playoff picture: What does Ravens-Bengals mean for AFC standings

The Ravens face the Bengals in Cincinnati on Sunday. We break down what the game means for the NFL playoff picture.

A general view of Paul Brown Stadium before the game against the Jacksonville Jaguars and the Cincinnati Bengals on September 30, 2021, at Paul Brown Stadium in Cincinnati, OH. Photo by Ian Johnson/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Result: The Bengals beat the Ravens 41-21 to move into a commanding position in the AFC North. Cincinnati improved to 9-6 while Baltimore dropped to 8-7. The Bengals swept both Baltimore and Pittsburgh, which effectively gives them a two-game lead in the division with two weeks left.

The Cincinnati Bengals host the Baltimore Ravens in a Week 16 game with huge playoff implications. The teams are tied for first with three weeks remaining and the winner will take sole possession of first place heading into the final two weekends of the regular season.

Kickoff is scheduled for 1 p.m. ET on CBS, and the Bengals are 4.5-point favorites at DraftKings Sportsbook. Baltimore’s QB situation is unclear with Lamar Jackson (ankle) and Tyler Huntley (non-COVID illness) both listed as questionable.

AFC playoff picture

The Bengals and Ravens are both 8-6 in the AFC North. They are roughly a half game up n the 7-6-1 Steelers and a full game up on the 7-7 Browns. Cincinnati has the tiebreaker advantage on Baltimore with a 1-0 record in their head-to-head series. The next tiebreaker is divisional record and Cincinnati has the edge there as well, with a 3-1 record compared to Baltimore’s 1-3 record.

The Bengals are currently in fourth place as the division leader while the Ravens are in eighth place. Baltimore is tied with the 8-6 Colts, Chargers, and Bills, but are down in the conference record and record against common opponent tiebreakers.

Relevant Week 16 matchups

Packers 24, Browns 22
Colts 22, Cardinals 16
Bills (8-6) @ Patriots (9-5)
Chargers (8-6) @ Texans (3-11)
Steelers (7-6-1) @ Chiefs (10-4)
Broncos (7-7) @ Raiders (7-7)
Dolphins (7-7) @ Saints (7-7)