For now, the Bengals have the 21st pick in the April 25-27 NFL Draft. But that can go lower if they win Saturday's Wild Card game (4:30 p.m.-Cincinnati's Channel 12) in Houston.
Their 10-6 record is tied with four other clubs, but the Bengals pick behind the Bears because Chicago didn't make the playoffs. The Redskins, Ravens and Vikings have joined Cincinnati in the Wild Card playoffs, but the Bengals are ahead of those teams because they had a weaker strength of schedule at .438. Next to Atlanta's .422, the Bengals had the lowest strength of schedule, followed by two other playoff teams, the Colts at .441 and Denver at .457, as well as San Diego at .457 and Pittsburgh at .465.
For what it's worth, the Bengals strength of schedule next season is .508, but that's now. When the sked came out in April, it was .500 and it ended up at .438. But there's no doubt the Bengals are hosting a ton of established teams at Paul Brown Stadium with a .570 record in 2012 and five playoff teams staring at them led by the 12-4 Patriots. There are also the 11-5 Packers, the 11-5 Colts, and the 10-6 Vikings, as well as the 10-6 Ravens from the AFC North. The three non-playoff teams are the Steelers (8-8), Browns (5-11) and Jets (6-10).
The road games feature two teams going through coaching changes in 10-6 Chicago and 7-9 San Diego, as well as possibly 6-10 Buffalo. The only other winning team the Bengals get on the road besides the Bears is Baltimore. Detroit (4-12), Cleveland (5-11), Miami (7-9) and Pittsburgh (8-8) round it out for a total of .445 strength of road sked.