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NFL power rankings roundup for Week 17

A hard fought loss doesn’t do much for the Bengals’ standing in the power rankings.

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Cincinnati Bengals v Miami Dolphins Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images

The Bengals had a very close lost to the Dolphins this week. Close only counts in horse shoes and hand grenades though. It doesn’t count in power rankings either, apparently. It was another rough week for Cincinnati, but at least this week some power rankers found some optimism in the Bengals. 32 (Last week 32)

That was perfect. Perfect! The Bengals provided their fans with insane entertainment value in wiping out a 35-12 deficit in the final seven minutes of regulation against the Dolphins on Sunday, then had the good sense to stop right there in a 38-35 overtime loss that locked up the No. 1 overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft. Yes, this is almost certainly the end of the Andy Dalton era in Cincinnati, and so let’s hope Bengals fans enjoyed their Glowing Ginger Man throwing four second-half TDs and leading their team to 16 points in the final 33 seconds of regulation. Dalton is going to make another team better next year.

ESPN: 32 (Last week 32)

It’s hard to pick an MVP for the worst team in the NFL, but Williams deserves recognition. The safety essentially lined up at linebacker all season as he tried to keep the defense afloat. Williams has a team-high 109 tackles heading into Week 17.

Yahoo Sports: 32 (Last week 32)

Andy Dalton and Tyler Boyd said that no true fans care about their team getting the first overall pick, which just tells me they haven’t spent much time interacting with fans. No fan, before a season starts, wants their team to be so bad that they’ll pick first. But once the team is 1-13, yeah, they want Joe Burrow.

USA Today: 32 (Last week 32)

Maybe they’re not far off? Cincy fights hard, and eight of its 14 losses are by just one possession. Maybe Joe Burrow can spark quick turnaround.

The Athletic: 32 (last week 32)

Sunday’s loss at Miami was the best-case scenario for the Bengals. First, they lost, which was really all that matters in the long-term plans. But second, they sure made it interesting. If Andy Dalton has only one more week in Cincinnati, at least he got to have one wild final comeback (even if it ultimately resulted in a loss that will secure the pick the Bengals will use to draft his replacement).

Bleacher Report: 32 (Last week 32)

For a moment Sunday, it looked like the Cincinnati Bengals might actually mess around and win a game. After falling way behind early, the Bengals mounted a frantic comeback—including 16 unanswered points in the final minute of regulation. The fact that the comeback eventually came up short was likely a blessing in disguise. At this point in a lost season, the only “win” that mattered for the Bengals was the No. 1 overall pick in the 2020 draft. Ohio State edge-rusher Chase Young will be tempting, but he wouldn’t fill a huge area of need. What is—especially if the Bengals move on from Andy Dalton in the offseason—is quarterback. If only there was a Heisman Trophy-winning signal-caller who grew up in southern Ohio in this year’s class.

It isn’t that surprising that despite the Bengals’ late game heroics, they still reside at the bottom of every power ranking. It came against the Dolphins who also are very low in the rankings. At this point in the season, we shouldn’t expect power rankers to put forth any effort to move Cincinnati. Maybe a nice beating of the Browns could pull the Bengals out from the bottom to end the year though.