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Thursday, October 27, 2011
Joyner: Bengals can make playoffs

By Jamison Hensley

Few people predicted the Bengals would be 4-2 at this point of the season. So, how many now believe Cincinnati will reach the playoffs?

Well, KC Joyner tackles this question over at ESPN Insider with some strong statistical analysis. Behind a very good defense and a pair of rookies that seem to be improving as the weeks go on, Joyner contends that the Bengals have a good shot at the playoffs if they can handle the more winnable games remaining.

Cincinnati's favorable second-half schedule includes games against Seattle, Tennessee, Cleveland, St. Louis and Arizona.

"If the Bengals can add three or four wins in those games along with one or two wins in their tougher matchups (Pittsburgh and Baltimore twice, Houston), it would equal nine wins for the season, which might be enough for the Bengals to make the postseason in the surprisingly weak AFC this year," Joyner wrote. "It would be an impressive feat for a team that was supposed to be in rebuilding mode this season."

Joyner was nice enough to pass along two other items that support the Bengals' surprising pursuit of a playoff spot: