Here is a shocker, the 0-8 Bengals didn't move up in any power rankings this week.
Also, you'll find a familiar theme amongst most rankers. Here is your dose of the national media piling on the Bengals for the week:
On the Around The NFL Podcast, we call Andy Dalton the prime meridian of NFL quarterbacks. The theory goes like this: If your QB is better than Dalton, your team is armed with a franchise passer. If your quarterback is worse than Dalton -- or below The Dalton Line -- he is a replaceable commodity. Dalton lives in that gray area between two very different worlds, and his success or failure is based entirely on the supporting cast around him. To wit: With Sunday’s loss to the Rams, Dalton became the first quarterback in NFL history to open seasons both 0-8 and 8-0. That undefeated start came with the 2015 version of the Bengals, a team with an excellent offensive line and skill players all over the field. Dalton has had the opposite of that situation in 2019, with harrowing results. I’m sending my FREE ANDY DALTON T-shirts into production.
Why not unload A.J. Green? It’s clear this is a team that is going nowhere and he might leave after the season anyway.
Mixon’s season has been disappointing for various reasons. The AFC’s leading rusher from a year ago has failed to score a rushing touchdown and has four games with 20 or fewer rushing yards (yes, that’s not a typo). Most of the blame falls on a very inefficient offense and an offensive line that has struggled to open holes. However, Mixon earns the nod since he carries the most potential of anyone on the roster. He’ll need to take advantage of opportunities to reel off big runs, even if they’ve been rarer than anticipated in 2019.
All those seasons when Marvin Lewis coached the Bengals to the playoffs but couldn’t manage to get a postseason victory don’t seem all that terrible right about now, do they?
For once, Cincinnati’s tissue-paper run defense was pretty good against the Rams. After allowing almost 190 yards per game on the ground over the first seven weeks of the season, the Bengals gave up just 98 yards on the ground in London. In a race to the bottom with the Miami Dolphins, the Bengals are the first team to hit eight losses. Week 16 has now taken on a rather macabre level of importance in the NFL. On December 22, the Bengals travel to Miami—with the first overall pick in the 2020 draft potentially on the line.
The Bengals will be interesting to watch before the trade deadline. They desperately need to move some of their veteran pieces for picks. A.J. Green comes to mind. But there has been little buzz about the Bengals making a move, and we probably shouldn’t expect them to do the smart thing.
At this point I can’t wait for the trade deadline to pass. It has just become lazy to keep this A.J. Green talking point about the Bengals. You’ll notice that for the past few weeks the people who do these lists have leaned on the crutch of using the possibility of Green being traded as their only talking point for this team. They’ve ignored things like the offense rushing for 12 yards over a two week span, the defense looking lost at times and they barely even mentioned Andy Dalton’s meltdown against the Jaguars.
There does seem to be a new trend forming of the national media trying to shame fans for being frustrated with Marvin Lewis. I don’t think this season proves anything more than the 2018 team wasn’t being held back by Lewis. That doesn’t mean this team would be better off with him as the head coach though. If anything this season’s failure puts the highlight on the front office more than anyone. They made some moves, but the roster was left remarkably similar to the 2018 team.
All we can hope is that this is just a bump in the road for Zac Taylor's tenure as head coach.