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Bengals in the NFL Power Rankings: Week 13 Roundup

The Bengals continue to drop.

Pittsburgh Steelers v Cincinnati Bengals Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images

The Cincinnati Bengals lost to the Pittsburgh Steelers 16-10 in Week 12, dropping to 5-6 on the season. After running off four straight wins to get to 5-3, Cincinnati has not lost three straight games.

Jake Browning ended his first career start with 227 passing yards, a touchdown, and an interception. He was a solid option against a potent Steelers defensive line. With the Jaguars on deck, the Bengals will have another difficult battle in Week 13.

That said, let’s dive into where national media has the Bengals ranked heading into the new week.

NFL.com — No. 20 - Down from No. 18

Losing Joe Burrow, it turns out, was a big deal. Jake Browning wasn’t the sole reason the Bengals lost to Pittsburgh on Sunday, but he also didn’t win it for them. Whoever came up with the game plan might want to reconsider the run-pass ratio. Counting his two scrambles, Browning dropped back to throw 32 times, and the Bengals handed to Joe Mixon eight times. That’s a 4:1 pass-to-run ratio, with Burrow and Tee Higgins injured. The Bengals crossed midfield five times, but scored just 10 points. Their longest, most promising drive came at the start of the second half, moving 57 yards and draining nearly six minutes of clock, but it ended with a bad Browning pick in the red zone. The Bengals led 7-3 at that point, but would go on to lose their third straight.

Sporting News - No. 18 - Down from No. 15

The Bengals showed more positive offensive flashes than expected with Jake Browning replacing an injury Joe Burrow, but they simply couldn’t sustain drives the same way. Now the biggest concern is a defense that really can’t stop anything in the middle vs. running games and tight ends.

FOX Sports — No. 23 - Down from No. 15

This is what you’re afraid of when the starting quarterback goes down. The Jake Browning iteration of the Bengals managed 222 total yards and 10 points against Pittsburgh. They converted 2-of-10 third downs. It’s a tough break for them, but it’s hard to take this team seriously as any kind of playoff contender until they prove otherwise.

CBS Sports — No. 21 - Down from No. 18

No Joe Burrow means no chance. They competed against the Steelers, but the offense is too limited as they head to Jacksonville this week.

ESPN — No. 19 - Down from No. 14

The Bengals’ rough offensive year is evidenced by the FPI, but that’s not the only number that tells the story. Cincinnati ranks 27th in yards per game (291.7) as the offense has managed around QB Joe Burrow’s injury. But regardless of whether he has been healthy, the Bengals have dealt with an arrhythmic offense. Defensively, Cincinnati has allowed the second-most yards per game (389.3) and struggles with stopping big plays. Those are the primary reasons Cincinnati is under .500 entering December. — Ben Baby

Pro Football Talk — 20 - Down from No. 17

They might as well embrace the suck and get the highest possible draft pick.

Yahoo! Sports — No. 19 - Down from No. 18

Jake Browning wasn’t awful in his first start (19 of 26, 227 yards, one TD, one INT), but the Bengals scored 10 points and lost at home. Even if Browning plays OK the rest of the season, it’s hard to see Cincinnati being a factor the rest of the season. It’s hard to believe that the Bengals and Bills won’t make the playoffs, but it seems like that’s where we’re headed.