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NFL Power Rankings Roundup: Bengals on the rise heading into Week 15

The Bengals continue to climb up the rankings thanks to a sweep of the 0-13 Browns.

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Cincinnati Bengals v Cleveland Browns

They say winning cures all ails, and for the Bengals, it also gets them more respect in the NFL Power Rankings.

The latest roundup of power rankings has Cincinnati back in the low 20s across most rankings, after dipping down into the 26-28 range. SB Nation kept the Bengals at 16 this week, which was already the highest ranking they were getting.

Every team ranked ahead of the Bengals in SB Nation’s ranking has at least seven wins this season and are in the midst of a playoff hunt.

ESPN bumped up the Bengals to No. 20 in their newest ranking.

The Bengals have their first winning streak of the season! That's two straight wins for Cincy, and two straight games in which they allowed zero points in the first half. That might be tougher to do against the Steelers this week than against the Eagles and Browns though.

CBS Sports went with the ‘too little too late’ theme for the Bengals, who came in at No. 21.

The Bengals have won two straight games as Andy Dalton continues to have a good season. It's too late though.

While the Bengals’ spot increased in most rankings this week, it actually dropped a spot in the latest USA Today poll, which seemed to suggest beating the Browns and helping secure Marvin Lewis’ job is actually a loss...

Sweeping the Browns, forever enemies of Cincinnati ownership, in impressive fashion could be what earns Marvin Lewis one more shot.

No comment.

Yahoo put Cincinnati at No. 23 in this week’s ranking while also commenting on Lewis’ job status.

If the Bengals are considering a change, I’m not sure winning at Cleveland saved Marvin Lewis’ job. But had the Bengals lost, that would have been practically impossible to survive.

NFL.com bumped the Bengals up to No. 21, but reminded us of one of many reasons why Lewis should be on the hot seat.

Two wins in a row for the Bengals, although beating a winless team in December only carries so much weight. Notable was the effective play of Andy Dalton (also for the second consecutive week), the productivity of Jeremy Hill (25 carries for 111 yards) and a defense that wouldn't let the Browns' offense off the mat. With the Broncos' loss and the Dolphins losing Ryan Tannehill, Cincy could hope for a miracle. Hey, the Steelers needed a miracle to win that wild-card game last year, and got two of them -- so it is possible. (Too soon? Yep. Too soon.)

As for the rest of the AFC North, the Steelers once again lead the way thanks to their win over the Bills last Sunday. They’re now in complete control of the AFC North and need only to win two of their next three games to secure the division, though one of those wins needs to be at home vs Baltimore in Week 16.

Cincinnati will look to help prevent Pittsburgh from running away with the division when the two square off this week, but even a Bengals win likely wouldn’t stop Pittsburgh from winning the division.

Elsewhere, the Browns are still ranked as the worst NFL team across the rankings. No surprise there after they were swept by the 5-7-1 Bengals and remain 0-13.

As for the Ravens, a valiant effort in New England was all for not, and it has Baltimore falling down most rankings this week. They need to win out to earn the AFC North crown, which would include beating the Steelers in Pittsburgh, which is hard to see happening with how the two teams are playing now. Though, the Ravens have already beaten the Steelers once this year and seem to have their number.