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NFL Power Rankings Roundup: Final Edition

The season is over; the Bengals ended with four wins. Here’s where they stand in national media’s rankings.

NFL: JAN 03 Ravens at Bengals Photo by Ian Johnson/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Cincinnati Bengals started the season off with a discouraging loss to the Chargers. Despite droppings six more games in Burrow’s ten starts, the Bengals showed enough to give hope for a bright future.

Most of that hope is centered around Joe Burrow, the 2020 NFL Draft’s No. 1 overall pick. However, players like Vonn Bell, Carl Lawson and Tee Higgins also showed high upside throughout the season.

As for the start quarterback, Burrow had several 300-yard games to go with multiple three-touchdown games. He was phenomenal despite having a few rookie mistakes here are there.

The Bengals having their season-long win streak in two of the last three weeks was brutal for draft position, sliding them all the way to No. 5 and likely out of the reach for Oregon lineman Penei Sewell. The team will manage though.

Fishing the season 4-11-1, the Bengals were the only team in the AFC North to miss out on the postseason. That said, let’s look at where the Bengals are placed in the national’s media power rankings following their season-ending loss to the Baltimore Ravens.

NFL.com — 29

Bengals owner Mike Brown has a reputation for his patience — he kept Marvin Lewis employed for 16 years with nary a playoff win to his credit, after all — so we shouldn’t be surprised with Monday’s announcement that Zac Taylor will get another season on the sideline. Still, a 6-25-1 record through two years is the type of losing that will get most coaches sent on their way. You wonder if Joe Burrow’s serious knee injury, which ended his excellent rookie campaign after 10 games, played a role in Taylor getting another chance in 2021. The Bengals’ universe screeched to a halt the moment Burrow went down, taking any fair way to evaluate Taylor with it.

Touchdown Wire — 27

Pray that Joe Burrow’s rehabilitation goes smoothly. Hope that Penei Sewell falls to the Cincinnati Bengals in the first round. Profit.

Chicago Tribune — 28

Coach Zac Taylor got a vote of confidence from owner Mike Brown, but the Bengals will have to improve with Joe Burrow returning from injury next season.

Sports Illustrated — 30

Joe Burrow’s torn ACL was one of the season’s more unfortunate injuries. He showed promise in his 10 starts, but now we have to see how much his rehab will disrupt his offseason prep for Year 2.

CBS Sports — 29

Zac Taylor is coming back as coach, but he will make changes to his staff. He’s probably in a win-or-else mode next season.

Pro Football Talk — 25

Will Joe Burrow be the next Patrick Mahomes or Deshaun Watson? For now, it’s far closer to Watson.