Spoiler Alert: The power rankers didn’t give the Bengals much credit after getting blown out at home for the second week in a row. This was rookie quarterback Ryan Finley’s first start, and it wasn’t the kind of start that makes anyone reconsider where this team should be ranked.
You can say it’s unfair to drop the Bengals to the bottom of the Power Rankings coming off a nearly impossible assignment against Lamar Jackson and the surging Ravens, but eventually, in our league (to borrow a grating Aikman-ism), you have to win a football game. Ryan Finley began his audition to become the Quarterback Of The Future in Cincinnati, a mostly rocky debut that included two turnovers returned for touchdowns. He’ll get the rest of this season to prove himself as a prospect worth developing, but you imagine the Bengals will struggle to pass on the opportunity to select one of the top quarterbacks in the draft if they end up with the No. 1 pick or something close to it. On Sunday, they got a front-row seat for the Lamar Jackson Show -- a reminder of how an elite young talent under center can change everything.
The Bengals are this bad and no one is even accusing them of tanking their season. Does that make it better or worse?
So I guess Andy Dalton wasn’t the problem after all. This team is a mess.
This one is a no-brainer. Right now, the Bengals are two games ahead of Miami in the race for the No. 1 pick. However, if the winless Bengals get a win over the Jets in Week 13, there could be a one-game difference between the Dolphins and Cincinnati ahead of the penultimate regular-season game. Even though Miami is on a two-game win streak, this one is still big.
What was the point of turning to QB Ryan Finley? I get the Bengals wanted to get a look at him, but they also should want to win a game. It wasn’t necessary to give Finley eight starts; two or three would have been fine. Andy Dalton wasn’t great but he didn’t get much help. Finley was always unlikely to be the long-term answer, which is why mid-round picks on quarterbacks are generally mistakes. So what exactly was the point, other than making a move just to make it?
By virtue of Sunday’s blowout loss to the Baltimore Ravens, the Bengals remain the NFL’s only winless team—an 0-9 dumpster fire inching closer by the week to the first pick in the 2020 draft. The Bengals are a well-rounded sort of terrible, too. In his first start as a pro, rookie quarterback Ryan Finley barely hit on more than half his passes and finished with under 200 yards. The Bengals “defense” had no answer for Lamar Jackson and the Ravens, surrendering almost six yards a carry on the ground and allowing Baltimore to convert two-thirds of its third downs. At this point, the Bengals have a stranglehold on the bottom spot in these power rankings.
We all watched the game. The Bengals didn’t just get beat, they get openly toyed with at home. The Ravens even ran a ridiculous trick play that involved pitching the ball to backup quarterback Robert Griffin III, which gained an easy first down.
The game didn’t even seem close, and this is the second time the team had such an embarrassing loss at home this season. It was really unfair of anyone to expect Finley to come in and somehow turn this team around that was built with flaws this offseason.