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NFL power rankings roundup: Bengals climb thanks to strong finish

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The Bengals move up after knocking two teams out of the playoffs.

NFL: Cincinnati Bengals at Baltimore Ravens Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

The Bengals ended their season by ruining the seasons of two clubs in the playoff hunt. That took the Bengals out of the bottom of the NFL and returned them back to respectable levels going into the 2018 season.

This week, some of the usual media outlets decided to release an end of the regular season version of power rankings, but some of them only did power rankings with playoff teams. It is hard to imagine where the Bengals would’ve been ranked in those, but you would think beating a Ravens teamed poised for the playoffs in Baltimore would’ve moved them up.

Curiously enough, the Bengals didn’t move to far up in the end of season power rankings. In fact, ESPN moved them down. This was probably due to their theme of their power rankings. They looked at how team finished the season compared to their strength of schedule, and the Bengals were one of the worst in the NFL in that category.

Overall, the Bengals have had some ups and downs this season in the power rankings. A lot of which was based on their roller coaster season. The Bengals could never get themselves out of the hole they dug themselves into, and it is a shame because they had several chances to do just that.

The Bengals suffered crushing loss after crushing loss this season, and it is fair to say that they were a couple different bounces away from being in the playoffs again, but then again they were also a couple bounces away from being one of the worst teams in the league.

The Bengals earned their pace in the power rankings at the end of the season. This year will be looked back on with a ton of “what ifs” as we get farther from it, but the one thing we will always remember in the disappointing season, and the fun we had at the end.

ESPN: 23

Opponent winning percentage: .465; seventh-easiest. The Bengals had the easiest strength of schedule among teams that finished below .500. They were outscored by 97 points against teams not hailing from Cleveland (they outscored Browns by 38).

CBS Sports: 20

They played well the final two weeks for Marvin Lewis. What happens next for the Bengals? Is Lewis back or not?

Bleacher Report: 19

You can see the talent the Cincinnati Bengals have. I think Marvin Lewis is on his way out, and I think that whoever takes over this team is striking a gold mine.

All the new regime will have to figure out is whether to keep Andy Dalton at quarterback. Either way, there is a ton of talent on both sides of the ball.

Don't be surprised if Cincinnati is back in the playoff race in 2018.

End of the Regular Season Power Rankings

Site This Week Last Week Difference
Site This Week Last Week Difference
ESPN 23 22 1-
CBS 20 24 4+ -- 24
SB Nation 20 28 8+
Yahoo -- 26 0
Washington Post -- 27 0
Bleacher Report 19 25 6+
Average 20.5 25.14285714