Zac Taylor has finally won on the road.
Week 16 saw the Bengals take down the 4-10 Houston Texans, led by dynamic quarterback Deshaun Watson. Although Watson arguably had his best game of the season, throwing for over 300 yards and three touchdowns without an interception, his team came up short. Cincinnati, thanks to a 27-point second half, won 37-31.
It was a great victory, and the Bengals didn’t lose much draft positioning.
Why? Well, because with the win, the team dropped from drafting third overall in the 2021 NFL Draft to fifth. As of now, the Jaguars will pick No. 1 followed by the Jets at pick No. 2. Those two spots are set, but everything else is subject to change.
The Dolphins, who have the Texans pick, are currently at the No. 3 spot, and the Falcons have the No. 4 spot. The Texans and Falcons have four wins each, but the Bengals’ tie pushes them a bit behind them in draft order.
With one week left in the regular season, here is how the draft order stands featuring the teams that could be impacted with a Bengals win or loss in Week 17.
- 3. Miami Dolphins (selecting in place of Houston) (4-11)
- 4. Atlanta Falcons (4-11)
- 5. Cincinnati Bengals (4-10-1)
- 6. Philadelphia Eagles (4-10-1)
- 7. Detroit Lions (5-10)
- 8. New York Giants (5-10)
- 9. Carolina Panthers (5-10)
- 10. Denver Broncos (5-10)
If the Bengals finish the season with their third-straight win and several other teams lose, the Bengals could drop all the way down to outside the top 10.
However, the Bengals do play the Ravens in Week 17, and with the playoffs on the line for John Harbaugh’s squad, they’ll be fighting as hard as possible to stay alive. It’ll be a tough game to win, and that may not be the worst thing in the world for the Bengals.
That said, the Falcons may be selecting exactly who Cincinnati wants with the pick before them. Many are considering Penei Sewell the Bengals top prospect. Well, if you watched the Falcons against the Chiefs, one thing was obvious — they need help on the line.