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Bengals power ranking roundup for Week 16

The Bengals sit back down after standing up briefly in the rankings last week.

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NFL: DEC 15 Patriots at Bengals Photo by Ian Johnson/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Bengals still only have one win on the season, and after having an especially rough loss to the Patriots, it is no surprise to see them return to the bottom of all the power rankings.

It wasn’t all bad against New England for Cincinnati. Outside of Andy Dalton, the rest of the team played pretty well. Maybe this team is a quarterback and a few solid pickups away from being an interesting team next season. 32 (Last week 30)

The bad news? Andy Dalton had a stretch in the second half on Sunday in which he threw three interceptions in eight pass attempts, an avalanche of turnovers by the Glowing Ginger Man that more or less sank the Bengals in a 34-13 loss to the Patriots. The good news? The Giants beat the Dolphins on Sunday, which means the Bengals have become a heavy favorite to land the No. 1 overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft. This all happened, by the way, on the same weekend LSU super-stud quarterback Joe Burrow won the Heisman Trophy in a historic landslide. These are dark days in Cincinnati, but a new hope is coming.

ESPN: 32 (Last week 32)

With one more loss, Cincinnati will cement the No. 1 overall pick in the 2020 draft and will have the opportunity to take Heisman winner Joe Burrow. The other big quarterback decision involves Andy Dalton’s future. Dalton’s current contract expires in 2020, and the veteran could be moved in the offseason in a trade that could benefit both sides. -- Ben Baby

CBS Sports: 32 (Last week 32)

Look at the bright side: Only a few more months until Joe Burrow is the Bengals quarterback.

Bleacher Report: 32 (Last week 32)

For a time, it looked like the one-win Cincinnati Bengals were going to give the reigning Super Bowl champs a game Sunday. Thanks largely to the running of tailback Joe Mixon, they led at the outset of quarter No. 2. The wheels came off in the second half. The defense disappointed for what feels like the 45th game in a row. Quarterback Andy Dalton was abysmal, passing for just 151 yards with four interceptions—including a pick-six. It was a miserable performance in a season filled with miserable performances, and the loss gets the Bengals one step closer to the No. 1 overall pick in the 2020 draft. Given how Dalton played against the Patriots, the smart money is likely on LSU quarterback (and recent Heisman Trophy winner) Joe Burrow for that first selection.

Yahoo Sports: 32 (Last week 32)

Another loss Sunday was good for the Bengals. They play at the Dolphins this week, and they have a two-game cushion for the No. 1 pick. Losing that pick just to get to three wins this season would not be smart.

USA Today: 32 (Last week 32)

Andy Dalton has five INTs in past two starts. Heisman Trophy winner (and Ohio native) Joe Burrow had six all season for LSU. Wonder who will be starting in Cincy next year ...

Washington Post: 32 (Last week 31)

Being on the other side of the latest Patriots’ video scandal is the one and only thing that has made the Bengals relevant this season. They were back to being the Bengals with the lopsided loss Sunday to the Patriots.

The Bengals fall back into the basement of every major power ranking out there. It is fair to say that the Bengals didn’t have too long of a leash to mess around with after a couple of power rankings lifted them out of the 32nd spot.

Even though they were expected to lose against the Patriots, Dalton’s meltdown helped it get out of hand. It also doesn’t help that teams like the Giants and Jaguars who have also been looking especially bad lately managed to win last week.

Hopefully, the Bengals can return to having close games next week. Of course, the ultimate goal of getting that first overall pick is only one loss away from being secured, so maybe a close loss would be perfect.