To no surprise, the Cincinnati Bengals are now among the worst NFL teams in the latest round of power rankings.
Heading into Week 12, the Bengals are 3-6-1 and seemingly out of the playoff hunt. Even though the Bengals are mathematically still very alive for a postseason berth thanks to the AFC North being so bad, Cincinnati has shown nothing to think this year’s squad is capable of winning four or five games during the next seven weeks.
Especially now that Giovani Bernard is out and A.J. Green may not play again this year, wins will be hard to come by during the next few weeks. All of this is echoed by the latest power rankings, which have the Bengals coming in near the bottom across the board.
Over at NFL.com, Cincinnati came in at No. 27, their lowest ranking of the season by this outlet.
Tough losing A.J. Green in the first drive on Sunday. The receiver was especially missed on that Hail Mary to end the game. On a day the Red Rifle looked red in the face, the Bengals' leader hurled two more interceptions while averaging less than 5 yards per attempt, a terrible number. The oft-inconsistent run game (which lost Giovani Bernard to a torn ACL) couldn't mitigate the absence of Green, averaging less than 3.5 yards per carry. As stated in last week's Game Picks column, losing this one isn't the end of the road for Cincinnati. Not with Baltimore crashing into the middle of the Dallas offensive line and Pittsburgh sitting at 5-5. But the Bengals are running out of pavement. Quickly.
CBS Sports didn’t drop the Bengals too far in their latest rankings, but coming in at No. 24 doesn’t exactly make fans feel any better.
You have to think they will have a new coach next year. The 3-6-1 record is a major disappointment for a talented team.
SB Nation was also a bit friendlier with their ranking, which had Cincinnati coming in at No. 17. I can understand USA Today ranking the Bengals at No. 28 in their latest power rankings, but not because of the reason they gave.
Front office's decision not to re-sign Marvin Jones or Mohamed Sanu looks awfully suspect in wake of A.J. Green's injury. This team is cooked.
Sure, Brandon LaFell and Tyler Boyd haven’t lit the world on fire, but neither did Jones or Sanu while A.J. Green was getting the heavy bulk of targets in this offense. Unless we’re talking about a Pro Bowl-caliber player, we’re probably never going to see a No. 2 receiver putting up big numbers in this offense, so this is far from being the biggest issue with this team.
At ESPN, the Bengals fell all the way down to No. 28 this week. While it’s hard to say this team is a bottom-five team, not having Green certainly makes them one of the 10 worst teams in the league this season.
Prior to Week 11, receiver A.J. Green had accounted for 38 percent of the Bengals' receiving yards this season, highest in the NFL. That'll be a huge chunk of production to replace for a team in need of wins. We'll see how QB Andy Dalton adjusts this week at Baltimore.
Yahoo Sports dropped Cincinnati to No. 26, but also wonders if firing head coach Marvin Lewis would be smart if this season’s downward spiral continues.
This could get ugly. The defense isn’t as good as it has been, and now the offense will be without A.J. Green for at least a while and Gio Bernard the rest of the season. The Marvin Lewis question will be interesting. Sure, he has had his playoff failures. But before the Bengals fire him they need to ask a simple and important question: “Can we do any better?”
I think the real question the Bengals should ask themselves is, “Can we do better than ZERO playoff wins in more than two decades?”
Elsewhere in the AFC North, the Browns are now the consensus worth team in football. They were ranked No. 32 in all six major rankings this week. Their best chance to avoid going winless this season comes...at home against the Bengals in Week 14.
The Steelers are back on the rise following their win over those woeful Browns. Pittsburgh is now right inside the top 12 this week, the number of teams who make the playoffs. As bad as the Steelers have been at times this season, they have a lot of talent on their roster to help them get back to the playoffs.
As for the Ravens, they stood pat for the most part following their hard-fought loss to the Cowboys in Dallas. You can’t fault any team for losing on the road to a 9-1 team, and Baltimore is still in great shape to win the AFC North.