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Bengals shot at No. 1 seed, home-field advantage for playoffs still alive

Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow celebrates after the Bengals defeated the Kansas City...
Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow celebrates after the Bengals defeated the Kansas City Chiefs 34-31 in an NFL football game, Sunday, Jan. 2, 2022, in Cincinnati. (AP Photo/Jeff Dean)(Jeff Dean | AP)
Published: Jan. 5, 2022 at 12:26 PM EST
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CINCINNATI (WXIX) - The AFC North Champion Cincinnati Bengals (10-6) still have a chance at securing the AFC’s No. 1 seed and home-field advantage throughout the playoffs.

The path to make the playoffs run through Paul Brown Stadium will require some assistance from other teams.

Here are the two Week 18 scenarios the Bengals would need:

1) Bengals win + Tennessee Titans loss + Kansas City Chiefs loss + New England Patriots loss or tie OR

2) Bengals win + Titans loss + Chiefs loss + Buffalo Bills win

The Bengals are on the road Sunday to take on the Cleveland Browns (7-9) at 1 p.m.

>> Bengals playoff tickets <<

Kansas City (11-5), who are coming off a loss against the Bengals, travel to Denver this week to play the Broncos (7-9) on Saturday.

If the Chiefs win Saturday, the Bengals would have no shot at the top seed come Sunday, thus leaving no reason to play their starters.

On Monday, Bengals head coach Zac Taylor was asked if Joe Burrow, who was injured in the final moments of last Sunday’s game, would play in Week 18.

Taylor responded, saying, “I don’t know if I would be able to answer that about any player at this moment.”

The Bengals will be without Pro-Bowl running back Joe Mixon on Sunday. According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, Mixon was placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list Wednesday and is out for Week 18.

Six Bengals have been put on the reserve/COVID-19 list this week.

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