The Bengals are reeling right now. They’ve lost four of their dropped four of their last five games and are in serious danger of finishing with their worst record in nearly a decade. years.
Because of this, the Bengals now reside as one of the worst teams in most NFL power rankings with little chance of salvaging this season.
This week, Cincinnati will be traveling to Los Angeles to take on the Chargers, and for the second week in a row, the Bengals will be facing a team who has just defeated the Steelers.
The Chargers are 9-3 and would be leading the AFC South and AFC North with that record. They’re currently a game behind the 10-2 Chiefs, who already dismantled the Bengals back in October. Not only are the Bengals underdogs in this game, the spread is currently 14 points, which would be the largest spread against the Bengals in 10 years.
The Bengals have one home game left this season against the Raiders before facing the Browns and then the Steelers on the road to close out the season. The Raiders game could be the last time Cincinnati is favored all season, and with all the injuries they’ve compiled, it could be their last chance at a victory in 2018.
Here are this week’s NFL power rankings:
We’re No. 1 in: Injuries. Once A.J. Green goes on injured reserve, that will mark 15 players on IR since training camp (a figure that doesn’t include the players who were waived/injured). The Bengals have been decimated by injuries this season, losing their starting quarterback, three tight ends, several defensive linemen and their backup left tackle to IR. They could be in line to lose several more key figures before the season is over. Left tackle Cordy Glenn is injured, and cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick is in a walking boot. The results have shown on the field, and the Bengals likely just want this season to mercifully end at this point. — Katherine Terrell
No Andy Dalton, no A.J. Green and a defense that has just cratered. Bengals tickets should be pretty cheap the rest of the season.
Bleacher Report: 28 (Last week 26)
To be fair, part of Cincy’s struggles are because of injuries. Quarterback Andy Dalton is out for the year. Wide receiver A.J. Green may be, too, after being carted off the field upon reaggravating his toe injury. The linebacker corps has been chewed to pieces. But the Bengals defense wasn’t especially good at full strength, and it’s only gotten worse since head coach Marvin Lewis took over play-calling duties on that side of the ball.
Washington Post: 28 (Last week 25)
Wide receiver A.J. Green needs to undergo season-ending toe surgery, yet another indication that it’s all over for the Bengals. As if another indication was needed.
Sports Illustrated: 30 (Last week 24)
Average ranking: 27.66