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NFL Power Ranking Roundup Week 12

The expected plunge in the power rankings came as Joe Burrow has been ruled out for the season.

NFL: Cincinnati Bengals at Washington Football Team Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Joe Burrow is out for the season.

That’s tough to even right let alone have to live with for the next few months and potentially even into the next NFL season. After having suffered multiple torn ligaments in his knee, Burrow will have a lengthy rehab facing him.

Ryan Finley is expected to take the reins of the team. When Andy Dalton was benched last year, Finley, who was a rookie then, was inserted as the starter, and he struggled mightily, failing to win a game.

Even with several winnable games down the stretch, the Bengals shouldn’t be expected to thrive. Following their Week 11 loss to the then 2-7 Redskins, the Bengals took an even further dive in the media’s power rankings.

That said, let’s dive into where they ranked the struggling Bengals.

ESPN.com: 30th

Finding anything to be thankful for is incredibly difficult after Joe Burrow suffered a season-ending knee injury. However, Higgins has been one of the bright spots in a season that is quickly headed south. The second-round pick gives the Bengals another important piece to build around heading into 2021 and beyond. Higgins is poised to step into the role vacated by A.J. Green, who slowly is becoming the Bengals’ WR3 as he transitions into the next stage of his career. — Ben Baby

CBS Sports: 30th

It’s really bad they have lost Joe Burrow for the rest of the season. But now the other young players have to use the final six games to develop for next season.

NFL.com: 30th

It looked terrible when it happened, and we pretty much knew Joe Burrow’s fate as he was carted to the locker room on Sunday. But the official diagnosis on Monday — a torn ACL and MCL for the No. 1 overall pick — is a grim reminder of the fragile nature of pro football. Burrow needs reconstructive surgery and extensive rehab, with a timetable that will push his readiness right up against opening day in 2021. There are certain teams that never seem to catch a break, and Burrow’s instant impact with the Bengals made you think they had finally escaped their eternal purgatory. The injury puts a crushing — but hopefully momentary — halt to all that optimism. Get well soon, kid.

Yahoo! Sports: 30th

Joe Burrow’s injury is horrible for everyone, and the extra damage aside from the ACL should make anyone nervous about when he’ll be back to normal. Nothing against Ryan Finley, but the Bengals aren’t going to be very good or much fun to watch the rest of this season.

Sports Illustrated: 31st

If we’re being honest, a Ryan Finley–led Bengals team is objectively worse than the Jets, but it just felt gratuitous to put the Bengals at 32. The good news is they’re likely going to have a top-three pick, which means a great chance to land Oregon OT Penei Sewell, both the best non-QB prospect in the 2021 draft class and exactly the kind of game-changing O-line help this franchise needs. Better days are ahead in Cin City, even if those days are, well, still pretty far away.

The Ringer: 30th

USA Today: 30th

Injured Joe Burrow’s replacement, second-year QB Ryan Finley, has never looked remotely competent at the NFL level, completing half of his passes just once in five pro appearances. Cincinnati may not be competitive the rest of the way.

Sporting News: 30th

The Bengals are now a bottom-three team without Joe Burrow. Burrow was that good, making them look better offensively despite their running and blocking issues.