The Bengals’ loss to the Bears had a huge affect on their standing in the power rankings this week. The Bengals went from a team that was viewed as a bad team that was still a threat to a bottom dweller in a matter of six days.
This all started with the loss to the Steelers where the Bengals blew their lead in the second half of the game. They followed that effort up by letting the Bears do pretty much whatever they wanted to do against them on both sides of the ball.
A lack of effort from both sides was evident, and it looks like this team just wishes the season was over. This led to the Bengals being one of the teams that dropped the farthest this week. Their biggest drop was eight spots, and writers let the team have it this week.
It's rare for Bengals rookies to play in recent years, let alone make an impact, but that's exactly what Carl Lawson is doing. Lawson is the team leader in sacks (7.5) and the first Bengals defensive rookie to play 300 snaps since Vontaze Burfict in 2012.
It’s hard to envision Marvin Lewis coming back in 2018. This isn’t a situation where the team just wants to play out his contract. Lewis’ deal is done at the end of the season. If the rest of the season looks like Sunday’s debacle, the fans would revolt if Lewis returned.
Days after the emptiness of another late loss to the Steelers in front of the home crowd, the Bengals made up for it by not showing up for their fans on Sunday. What can you say about that performance? Cincinnati lost 33-7 to a Bears team that -- wait, Cincy was throttled by a 3-9 team that, until Sunday, hadn't scored 30 points in a game all season. Hadn't come close, really, other than in an overtime game in Baltimore. Andy Dalton averaged less than 5 yards per attempt, which is just this side of awful. Chicago owned the ball for over 38 minutes. The David Shula Bengals at their worst looked better than this.
Their season went bad after the loss to the Steelers last Monday night. That showed up in the terrible showing against the Bears.
The Bengals were a huge disappointment in Week 14. After nearly knocking off the Pittsburgh Steelers in a physical Monday night contest, they came back and got blown out by the Bears. Cincinnati was dominated on both sides of the ball, and it was embarrassing.
I never thought Chicago would run the ball down Cincinnati's throat the way it did—to the tune of 232 yards. I didn't expect the Bears defense to totally contain the Bengals offense either, but it did so all day long.
Now that the Bengals are out of the playoff race, I'm interested to see how the franchise handles Marvin Lewis and Andy Dalton in the offseason. The 2018 Bengals might look a lot different than this 5-8 squad.
The physical and emotional toll of last Monday’s loss to the Steelers was evident in Sunday’s listless defeat to the Bears.
Bengals’ Week 15 power rankings