The Ravens have locked up the division. The Bengals have secured a playoff spot.
Thus, the only tangible thing their Sunday regular-season finale decides is which team will be facing whom in the wild-card playoffs.
If the Ravens (10-5) beat the Bengals (9-6) and the New England Patriots (11-4) lose at home to Miami (7-8), then Baltimore would leapfrog the Patriots into the No. 3 seed.
The Bengals are locked into the No. 6 position as the final AFC team in the playoffs.
If Baltimore ends up with the No. 3 seed, it would play the Bengals for a third time this season and twice in back-to-back weeks. The Ravens laid a 44-13 beating on the Bengals at M&T Bank Stadium this year, but that was in Week 1.
After going 3-5 in the first half of the season, the Bengals have won six of their last seven games, including against the New York Giants, in San Diego and most recently at Pittsburgh. Their only win against a team likely headed to the playoffs was in Washington in Week 3.
If the Ravens remain the No. 4 seed, they would get the Indianapolis Colts (10-5) in the first round.
It would be an emotional reunion with former defensive coordinator turned Colts Head Coach Chuck Pagano, who is set to return to the sideline in Week 17 after recovering from leukemia. Baltimore’s defense would also get its first look at rookie quarterback and top-overall pick Andrew Luck.
The Colts beat the Minnesota Vikings in Week 2, then the NFC North champion Green Bay Packers in Week 5. They have had a number of narrow victories over Cleveland, Tennessee in overtime, Miami and Detroit, and have won eight of their last 10 games.
Who would you rather face, the Bengals or the Colts?