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NFL Week 13 Power Ranking Roundup: Bengals stagnant ahead of Steelers matchup

The Bengals didn’t move too much after beating the winless Browns. Still, they are ranked as high as they’ve been all season in two power rankings.

NFL: Cleveland Browns at Cincinnati Bengals Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

The Cincinnati Bengals have won two straight games to reach 5-6. They are only a game behind the Baltimore Ravens for the final playoff spot in the AFC. Still, not many media outlets moved the Bengals much at all after they were high risers last week.

Two things could attribute to that. The teams in front of them won for the most part, and the Bengals defeated the winless Cleveland Browns. That doesn’t exactly add up to a huge rise.

Even so, two outlet deemed the Bengals worthy of being ranked in the middle of the NFL. If the Bengals really want to have a huge jump an upset against the Pittsburgh Steelers on Monday night is the way to do it.

ESPN: 19

The 5-6 Bengals are subscribing to the "bend don't break" theory of defense. Opponents have reached the red zone against them 38 times, the seventh most in the NFL. But Cincinnati has allowed a touchdown on only 39.5 percent of those drives, the best in the NFL.

Yahoo Sports: 20

Rookie running back Joe Mixon finally had a big game, with 114 yards rushing, 51 yards receiving and a touchdown. Yes it came against the Browns, but the Browns have a solid defense. Mixon could provide a nice boost for the Bengals, who aren’t out of the wild-card race yet, down the stretch.

Bleacher Report: 16

The Bengals are still in this thing. If you look at them, they have a lot of admirable qualities. Cincinnati has a quarterback who has played in the postseason, a run game that had some success against a solid Cleveland front seven and a stout defense.

The Bengals are a dangerous team because of some of the elite players on the team, such as A.J. Green. However, offensive creativity is going to remain a question mark going down the stretch. Cincinnati cannot rely on just one or two big plays a game in the final quarter of the season and hope to slip into the playoffs.

I wonder if Cincinnati can consistently sustain drives against some of the elite defenses in the NFL. Right now, I don't think the Bengals can. If they miss the postseason, that will be why.

Washinton Post: 16

With two straight wins, the Bengals continue to reassemble their once-broken season. Things get serious now, with a Monday night home game against the Steelers up next.

CBS: 21

They've won two straight games to keep their slim playoff hopes alive. They now face a must win against the Steelers this week. 20

Despite opining that the Bengals could make the postseason in the Week 9 Power Rankings, even I didn't believe it at the time. Now, after looking at the updated playoff picture, the thought process has altered a smidge. A crudd... a creative team like this can actually make the playoffs. At 5-6, Cincinnati is only one game back of the sixth-seeded Ravens. It will probably take at least nine wins to stay afloat in January. Thus, the Bengals will need to pluck four wins from a stretch run that features games against the Steelers, Bears, Vikings, Lions and Ravens. Welp. At least three of those contests are at home.

Bengals’ Power Ranking Roundup Week 13

Site This Week Last Week Difference
Site This Week Last Week Difference
ESPN 19 18 1-
CBS 21 21 0 20 22 2+
SB Nation 20 20 0
Yahoo 20 20 0
Washington Post 14 18 4+
Bleacher Report 16 18 2+
Average 18.57142857 19.57142857