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NFL Week 12 Power Rankings roundup: Bengals moving on up

The Bengals are back in the hunt for the playoffs, and that means they are back to being in the relevant part of the power rankings.

NFL: Cincinnati Bengals at Denver Broncos Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

The Bengals are now back in the hunt for a playoff spot with the AFC on a slow downward spiral, and that has been reflected in the most recent power rankings. Heading into Week 12 of the NFL season, most media outlets have shot the Bengals back up to around the middle of the pack. The Bengals were the biggest movers for several of those outlets as well. One publication even moved the Bengals up 10 spots after their victory on Sunday. Who knew beating another 3-6 team could have such a huge effect on people’s outlook of your team.

Here’s a roundup of where the Bengals stand in the power rankings and what media outlets are saying about the team.

ESPN: 18

Toss-up: The Bengals play four of their next five games at home and have three more division matchups, so they're still very much in the AFC playoff picture. They've gone 4-3 since dropping their first three games.

CBS: 21

At 4-6, they are still alive in the playoff chase. The defense did a nice job at Denver. 22

With the road win in Denver, the Bengals retained a glimmer of hope that they could make a late run toward a wild-card spot. OK, that's a bit far-fetched -- right in line with the entire plot of "The Force Awakens." At least the Andy Dalton- A.J. Green connection has awoken the last two weeks. After posting 115 yards and a late score against the Titans, Green added 50 yards and an important touchdown versus the vaunted Broncos secondary, a total that does not include the major pass interference call Green drew against Bradley Roby, helping Cincy salt the clock away. With the Bills and Titans faltering this weekend, the Bengals are still in it. So you're saying there's a chance.

Yahoo Sports: 20

The Bengals had 190 yards and 12 first downs on Sunday. They had a nice win, and there’s at least some hope for a little bit of improvement from what has been a disappointing offense, but they still have a long way to go even after a victory.

Washington Post: 18

Don’t look now but even as disappointing as the Bengals have been, their season is not totally, completely over. They can get back to within a game of .500 if they beat the Browns on Sunday. Given that it appears there just might be an 8-8 team in the AFC playoffs, the Bengals still have some possibilities.

Bleacher Report: 18

Watch out for the Bengals because they're not out of the playoff hunt quite yet.

Cincinnati lacks creativity on offense, but they do have weapons like A.J. Green and Joe Mixon. The Bengals also have playoff experience and a battle-tested quarterback in Andy Dalton. They know how to win tough games down the stretch.

Cincinnati's defense is legit too. It has elite talent on all three levels, and it can keep the Bengals in games when the offense is struggling.

It's not going to be easy for the Bengals to get into the playoffs, though, because they have a tough finish to their schedule. Every week is going to be vital from here on out.

NFL Week 12 Power Rankings Roundup

Site This Week Last Week Difference
Site This Week Last Week Difference
ESPN 18 27 9+
CBS 21 26 5+ 22 27 5+
SB Nation 20 23 3+
Yahoo 20 24 4+
Washington Post 18 28 10+
Bleacher Report 18 25 7+
Average 19.57142857 25.71428571 6.14+