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NFL Power Rankings Roundup: Bengals continue downward spiral heading into Week 17

The Bengals continue to fall down the NFL Power Rankings as their season spirals out of control.

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Cincinnati Bengals v Houston Texans Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images

Following the Bengals’ 12-10 loss in Houston this weekend, they’re now back near the bottom 10 of most NFL Power Rankings.

It’s hard to argue with that since Cincinnati has now gone 3-7-1 since opening the season with a respectable 2-2 mark. Even two of those three wins came against the 1-14 Browns, who are easily the worst team in football.

It’s pretty bad when almost half of your wins are against one of the league's worst teams, so it’s only fair that Cincinnati is generating nearly no respect in various power rankings.

That includes USA Today, where Cincinnati came in at No. 23 thanks to the latest field goal miss.

Our advice to college scouting department -- scour the country for a reliable kicker, because you owe it to the 52 other guys on the roster.

No. 23 was the ranking Cincinnati got at SB Nation. It was even worse at Yahoo Sports, where the Bengals came in at No. 25 thanks in large part to A.J. Green sitting out Saturday.

Lost in the whole drama over A.J. Green being held out, reportedly by Bengals ownership, is this important part: It was the correct call to sit Green. No reason to get him injured again in this lost season.

That was the same ranking Cincinnati got at, despite a great effort from Rex Burkhead.

Another ugly loss for the Bengals, who could manage just 10 measly points fielding a lineup devoid of a few major pieces. Without A.J. Green and Tyler Eifert, and with the immortal Rex Burkhead carrying the ground game (impressive, given the length of T-Rex arms), the Bengals' offense versus Houston was punchless most of the night. The defense played well enough to win, but -- as has all too often been the case in 2016 -- the different sides of the ball couldn't produce on the same night. The loss did ensure Cincinnati a top-10 pick, however. Back to Burkhead: Has anyone ever seen "Rawhead Rex"? A horror cult classic, kind of like the Cincinnati QBs of the '90s.

ESPN dropped the Bengals to No. 21, and a big reason why is the absurd number of missed field goals they’ve had from Mike Nugent and Randy Bullock.

The Bengals have missed seven field goals and six extra points this season, a total of 13 missed kicks, most in the NFL. The Bengals are 5-9-1, but have a minus-7 point differential, meaning those missed kicks could have made a world of difference. Cincinnati hosts Baltimore in Week 17.

Finally, CBS Sports dropped the Bengals to No. 24 and wonder if they have the firepower to bounce back next season.

This season was undone by a lot of injuries. Can they bounce back next season?

All of this led to an average ranking of 23.7 this week, putting the Bengals squarely on the bottom-10 line. As for the rest of the AFC North, the Browns still lead the way with the worst average ranking of any NFL team. They did move up two spots in SB Nation’s latest ranking, but were still dead last in all other other rankings.

The Steelers lead the way thanks to their comeback win over the Ravens on Sunday. That was enough for Pittsburgh to get top-five love from every major ranking this week.

The Bengals’ next opponent, Baltimore, was on the wrong end of that loss in Pittsburgh. The Ravens are now ranked just outside the top 12 (how many NFL teams make the playoffs). It seems fitting since they’ll just barely miss out on the postseason.