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NFL Power Rankings Roundup Week 17

Entering the final week of the season, where do analysis place Cincinnati among the league’s best?

Cincinnati Bengals v Houston Texans Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images

Somehow, someway the Cincinnati Bengals are on their longest winning streak of the season. Sadly, it’s only a two-game streak, but they’ve both been impressive wins, one over the Pittsburgh Steelers and the other to the Houston Texans.

Despite Deshaun Watson having one of his best games of the season, the Bengals offense couldn’t be stopped. They put up 37 points, their highest total of the season. After Ryan Finley took down the Steelers, it was Brandon Allen that stepped up in Week 16.

Allen, in 29 completions, threw for 371 yards and two touchdowns. Impressively, he also didn’t throw an interception. Watson ended the game with 324 yards and three touchdowns.

With star Joe Mixon out for the season, it was a combination of Giovani Bernard and Samaje Perine. Both backs put up over 60 yards while Perine was able to get in the end zone twice as well.

Following their 37-31 win, the Bengals look as sharp as ever and slide down to the fifth spot in the draf. That said, let’s take a look in where they now rank in among the league’s best teams. — 28th

Getting quarterback Joe Burrow a solid and consistent offensive line is the team’s top priority this offseason. The Bengals learned how costly shaky O-line play can be when Burrow suffered a season-ending knee injury that ended a promising rookie year. Cincinnati has used 10 different starting combinations on the line this season. Some of that was dictated by injury, but some of it also stems from the inability to find the right combination. Cincinnati should be in the market for potential upgrades at guard and tackle if it wants to protect its franchise quarterback in 2021. — Ben Baby

CBS Sports — 29th

They did some good things against the Texans. They have young players improving, which is huge for next season when Joe Burrow is back.

Yahoo! Sports — 28th

The Bengals have won two straight, which is very nice for the end of a rough season. A win over Baltimore, wrecking the Ravens’ playoff hopes, would be even better. — 29th

Ladies and gentlemen, the Bengals have done it. For the first time in more than two years, Cincinnati’s NFL franchise has won a road game in the regular season. Before Sunday’s 37-31 conquest over the Texans in Houston, the Bengals hadn’t triumphed on the road since Week 4 of the 2018 season. It marked the sixth-longest road winless streak in the Super Bowl era and the longest since the Browns went winless in 25 straight road games from 2015 to ‘18. It also marks the first road win in the coaching tenure of Zac Taylor, who — we should add — is also riding his first two-game winning streak. It’s nice to see some sunshine slip through the clouds in the post-Joe Burrow era of this 2020 season.

NBC Sports — 24th

Brandon Allen had a heck of a game Sunday against the Texans, throwing for 371 yards and two touchdowns. He could be Joe Burrow’s backup next season.

Sportsnaut — 29th

A matchup between two of the worst teams in the NFL delivered the fireworks you’d expect. Cincinnati pulled out a 37-31 victory and Zac Taylor is firmly secured as the head coach for 2021. That might not be for the best, but maybe everything works out.