Coming off of their bye week just four weeks ago, the Bengals were a solid 5-3 on the season. When they returned to the field, they accidentally took part in No-Win November. Oops.
This is usually when good teams look like they are firing on all cylinders getting ready for that playoff run. The Bengals, on the other hand, are limping towards the end of a lost season.
Cincinnati spent the last month getting run off their home field by the Saints and the Browns of all teams with a divisional loss on the road sandwiched between the two games. Did I mention that Andy Dalton is also done for the season?
All of that is directly reflected in this week’s power rankings as the Bengals join the bottom feeders of the NFL. Whatever claim they had on being at least in the middle of the pact has been lost. When was the last time the Browns could be ranked ahead of the Bengals and you couldn’t even be mad about it?
Here is hoping Jeff Driskel can at least put together some entertaining games to end the season, and that we see some actual changes this offseason.
Here are this week’s NFL power rankings:
Toughest game left: Week 14 at Los Angeles Chargers. With the way the season is going, things might be over by the time the Bengals go to Pittsburgh in Week 17, which makes their road game against the Chargers loom large. The Bengals’ defense was dominated by the Browns, so it’s hard to imagine that the unit will fare much better against Philip Rivers.
That 4-1 start seems like it happened a few seasons ago. The Bengals are sliding fast and now Andy Dalton is done for the season. Jeff Driskel has just 36 career passes, but he’s next up. Here’s where I’d usually mention that the coach might be in trouble, but I’ve given up trying to predict what’s next for the Bengals when it comes to Marvin Lewis.
The bad news was a 15-point loss to the Browns in a game that really wasn’t as close as the score. The defeat was Cincinnati’s fifth in six games after a 4-1 start. The worse news, as NFL.com reported, is that while scrambling to grab a horribly botched snap in the second half, quarterback Andy Dalton injured his thumb and was unable to return to the game.
This quickly has become a mess, and now Jeff Driskel takes over as the starter at QB after Andy Dalton was placed on the injured reserve list Monday. It’s difficult to imagine the Bengals regrouping to remain a factor in the playoff race.
Andy Dalton is done for the year and now the Bengals will have to make their annual decision to keep Marvin Lewis. After five straight years losing a wild-card game, this is now likely a third straight year missing the playoffs. Bengals fans: Which stretch is more frustrating?
Average Ranking: 24.16