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NFL Week 17 power ranking roundup: Bengals take a step in the right direction

The Bengals aren’t climbing out of the bottom of the barrel quite yet, but they took a step up. They now seem to be sitting on top of the bottom tier teams.

Detroit Lions v Cincinnati Bengals Photo by John Grieshop/Getty Images

The Bengals stomped out any hopes the Lions had at reaching the playoffs.

This came after two really embarrassing weeks of football for the Bengals. Defeating the Lions also seems to have put the Bengals back on top of the bad teams in the power rankings.

The Bengals played one of their best games of the season. They came out after halftime and scored on every possession. Meanwhile, a banged up defense gave a potent Lions’ offense all they could handle, and shut them down on their final two drives.

This performance should give the Bengals and their fans hope going into next season.

ESPN: 22

8.5 wins: Marvin Lewis got one last win in Cincinnati before his reported farewell from the team following Week 17. Win or lose next week, Cincy is finishing under 8.5 wins, but a few breaks here and there could have led to a different story. The Bengals have lost four games by four or fewer points this season, tied for second most in the NFL. 24

Of all the winning performances on Sunday, the Bengals' might have been the most impressive. Sure, few families surrounded by the Christmas tree and that eggnog Uncle Eddy drained cared about the Lions facing Cincy (other than those who are fans of the franchises or belong to a few NFC fan bases hoping Detroit would falter). Putting that aside, these Bengals were flat embarrassed the previous two weeks. They weren't even mildly competitive in either game. To come out and play that well defensively against the Lions, who were fighting for a playoff spot, deserves as much notice as all the criticism around Cincy of late. By the way, what's a catch?

Bleacher Report: 25

I have a lot of respect for Marvin Lewis and the run he's had with the Cincinnati Bengals. I also respect the way Cincinnati came out against the Detroit Lions and played with some pride after two consecutive blowout losses.

Don't tell me NFL players don't have pride when nothing's on the line.

Andy Dalton, A.J. Green and certainly Giovani Bernard were fantastic on Sunday. A lot of the game, though, hinged on the fact the Bengals had the talent in the secondary to slow down Detroit's passing attack. Cincinnati was able to turn the contest into a close, physical one, which is the type of game the Bengals are built to win.

Washington Post: 18

Can the Bengals come up with a big performance Sunday in Baltimore to knock the Ravens from the playoffs and, if the speculation about Coach Marvin Lewis’s future is accurate, send him off with a victory?

CBS Sports: 25

They showed some fight in beating the Lions. But is this week's game the last for Marvin Lewis as coach?

Yahoo Sports: 26

Joe Mixon returned from a concussion, and suffered an ankle injury. If that’s it for Mixon’s rookie season — and at this point, there’s no reason to risk further injury for him — it’s a disappointment. He had a few moments that reminded us of his talent, but overall it was bad. If the Bengals improve their offensive line this offseason, maybe then we’ll see some steps forward from Mixon.

NFL Week 16 power ranking matchup

Site This Week Last Week Difference
Site This Week Last Week Difference
ESPN 22 26 3+
CBS 24 24 0 24 27 3+
SB Nation 28 28 0
Yahoo 26 28 2+
Washington Post 27 27 0
Bleacher Report 25 25 6-
Average 25.14285714 26.42857143