The Bengals are now officially out of the playoff mix.
Even though they’re typically sitting at home by the second weekend of January anyhow, Cincinnati will not be part of the NFL postseason for the first time since the 2010 season. That 4-12 season is about what this 5-8-1 season has felt like to this point, so it’s only fair the Bengals are falling as low in various NFL Power Rankings as they’ve been since 2010.
CBS Sports’ assessment of the Bengals perfectly summed up why they rank No. 23 this week.
Their first half against the Steelers is the team we expected to see this season. Of course, the second half was the team we saw a lot of this season.
That’s the same ranking NFL.com gave Cincinnati this week. They perfectly summed up Andy Dalton’s poor performance, calling it “really not productive.”
Rough performance from the Bengals' offense Sunday. Put another way, it was offensive. Cincy began the day strong, taking the ball right down the field on the opening drive of the game against Pittsburgh for a field goal. The Bengals tacked on two more touchdowns before even half the second quarter was gone. Then ... nothin'. Andy Dalton was, in a word, really not productive. That was three words. Here are three more: out of playoffs.
SB Nation dropped the Bengals down to No. 22 this week, after being fairly kind to the Bengals in most of their weekly rankings. At USA Today, the Bengals fell to No. 25 while getting coached up on the history of making fun of the yellow towel.
Apparently Marvin Lewis lost film of T. J. Houshmandzadeh and the hazards of deriding The Terrible Towel. Know your history, Jeremy Hill.
Based on his output, Hill shouldn’t be taunting anyone, especially with the way he’s struggled lately, as Yahoo Sports notes while dropping Cincinnati to No. 24.
Over the last three weeks, Jeremy Hill has had a 23-carry, 33-yard game and a 20-carry, 43-yard game. The Bengals need to upgrade at tailback.
By some volition we’ll never understand, ESPN bumped the Bengals up one spot to No. 19. Their rankings are weird. We’ll leave it at that.
Sunday's loss guarantees the Bengals a losing season for the first time since 2010. The defense has remained strong, but the offense went from averaging the seventh-most points last season to the 23rd-most this season (20.6). The Bengals look to rebound with a win Saturday night at Houston.
Here’s a look at the rest of the AFC North where the Browns are firmly ranked 32nd across the board, the Steelers have the best positioning the division, and the Ravens are trailing while hanging onto their playoff hopes.
Week 15 Power Rankings