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Power ranking roundup: Bengals finish among NFL’s worst

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The 2018 Bengals were once viewed as a team who could possibly get the team’s first playoff victory of the Marvin Lewis era. Instead, they were the team to end his tenure as head coach.

NFL: DEC 30 Bengals at Steelers Photo by Mark Alberti/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Bengals almost pulled off the upset against the Steelers to close out the 2018 season. A win would have been a nice send off for Marvin Lewis, who was less than 24 hours after the game. There is no way of knowing whether or not the outcome of their season finale would’ve prevented Lewis’ firing. One thing it wouldn’t have changed is just how far down in the power rankings the Bengals were bound to finish this season.

After cracking the top 10 of most rankings when they were 4-1, Cincinnati took a nose dive into the basement of the NFL. There were still some rankings they actually rose in this week though, and the idea of possibly getting a new head coach could change where they start out next season.

ESPN: 26 (Last week 25)

New Year’s resolution: Evolve. The Bengals took a big step Monday when they parted ways with Marvin Lewis after 16 years. But the Bengals need to evolve as an organization, which might mean a fresh start and an outside hire. The Bengals really need to hit on this hire to appease a fan base that has grown frustrated with the league’s longest active streak without a playoff win. Hiring a candidate from within is probably not going to cut it at this point.

Yahoo Sports: 28 (Last week 30)

Marvin Lewis is finally out and unfortunately he became a punch line for his playoff record. And yes, 0-7 in the playoffs is unfortunate. But in the big picture, Lewis took over a job that was beyond toxic and made the Bengals respectable. He did a good job overall, though it was clearly time for a change.

Bleacher Report: 29 (Last week 30)

After a promising 4-1 start, the Cincinnati Bengals completely fell apart this season. Sunday’s loss in Pittsburgh was Cincy’s ninth in its last 11 games. Some blamed injuries. Others still blamed head coach Marvin Lewis for another ho-hum season on his watch. On Monday, what some thought what never happen actually did. After 16 seasons, seven postseason appearances and zero playoff wins, the Bengals finally fired Marvin Lewis. It was a move that came about three years too late. Yes, the Bengals had a nice run under Lewis a few years back, but since going 12-4 and winning the AFC North in 2015 the Bengals had steadily gotten worse in each of the past three seasons.

CBS Sports: 26 (Last week 24)

Marvin Lewis is out as coach, which means for the first time in a long time there will be a new face on the sideline. Who will Mike Brown target?

NFL.com: 26 (Last week 28)

Irrespective of what you think of Marvin Lewis’ time leading the Bengals, it is difficult to think about the franchise without thinking about him roaming the sidelines. His first year in town was Carson Palmer’s rookie year, all the way back in 2003. The Bungles, as they were known, were the Browns of the laser-disc generation. When Lewis got hired, Cincinnati had won a grand total of eight games the previous two campaigns. Lewis’ 2003 team won that many games with journeyman QB Jon Kitna under center and Palmer parked on the bench learning. The Bengals would go on to make the postseason in 2005, 2009 and 2011-15. Yet, they could never get a win. There are still many fans who wonder where Cincinnati, and its coach, would’ve gone if Palmer didn’t have his knee wrenched in the wild-card round of the 2005 playoffs. Whoever the new head coach is, he will be darn lucky to man the post for as long as Lewis did.