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NFL Week 13 Power Rankings Roundup: Bengals now cellar-dwellers

After their seventh loss of the season, the Bengals continue to fall down the power rankings.

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NFL: Cincinnati Bengals at Dallas Cowboys Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

The Bengals continue to fall further and further as the losses rack up.

Their latest loss, a 19-14 defeat in Baltimore, that really wasn’t even that close, now has Cincinnati flirting with bottom-five status in the least NFL Power Rankings.

That’s one of the worst places to be as an NFL franchise, but that’s how far the Bengals have sunk amid their four-game non-winning streak. That has them sitting at 3-7-1 and all but eliminated from playoff contention heading into Week 13.

Yahoo Sports dropped the Bengals down to No. 26 in their latest ranking, and they also wonder if A.J. Green should just be kept sidelined for the rest of 2016.

I’m not sure why the Bengals would entertain bringing A.J. Green back this season, unless he’s absolutely 100 percent. Maybe not even then. What’s the upside? Trying to win out to finish 8-7-1?

SB Nation gave the Bengals their highest ranking this week at No. 20, which was down three spots from last week. CBS Sports wasn’t too hard on Cincinnati either while dropping them to No. 25.

Here's a team that had a lot expected of it, but now will be playing out the string. Is a coaching change coming? dropped the Bengals down to No. 27 this week after a putrid offensive performance Sunday in Baltimore.

Tough to say the season is over, but we've been speculating about it for a couple of weeks now in this section of the Power Rankings. The normal culprits -- along with some new ones -- got to the Bengals on Sunday in Baltimore. The running backs rushed 17 times for 50 yards. We saw the pass offense try to operate without A.J. Green for the first time this season, and it wasn't pretty. (Andy Dalton put up less than 6 yards per throw.) Dalton's lack of protection and pocket awareness cost the team dearly late -- just as we saw against the Redskins in London and in the Week 10 loss to the Giants. What a comedown from last year's 12-4, division-winning campaign.

ESPN dropped the Bengals further than anyone, down to No. 28 this week, which is tied for the lowest ranking Cincinnati has had anywhere this season. It’s also interesting (or funny) that they still think the Bengals have a chance at the playoffs.

In his first game without A.J. Green this season, Andy Dalton completed a season-low 50 percent of his passes to wide receivers. Dalton and the Bengals are in must-win mode this week against the Eagles if they want to have any chance of making the playoffs.

USA Today dropped Cincinnati to No. 27 and asked the obvious question about the team’s enigmatic kicker.

Cincinnati's season in microcosm: Mike Nugent has missed his last three extra-point attempts but remains the preferred kicking option.

I would say that’s Marvin Lewis and Mike Brown in a microcosm, but that’s just me.

Looking ahead to Cincinnati’s next opponent, the Eagles come in with an average ranking of 19.5. They’ve lost six of their past eight games and have won just one road game this season, which came Week 2 vs a Bears team that’s now 2-9. As bad as the Bengals have been this season, they should beat the Eagles this week.

In the AFC North, the Steelers continue to climb after winning two straight, including last week’s 28-7 win over the Andrew Luck-less Colts. Pittsburgh remains the highest-ranked team in the AFC North, even though they would miss the playoffs if the postseason began today.

That’s because Baltimore is also 6-5 and has a 4-0 mark in division play, including a head-to-head win over Pittsburgh. The Ravens probably deserve to be ranked higher, but looking at their remaining schedule, it’s hard to see them winning more than nine games this season. The Steelers are in great position to win out with their hardest game left being at home against the Giants.

As for the Browns, they’re still the NFL’s worst team and should maintain that recognition as long as they’re winless. Some things never change.