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2021 NFL Power Rankings: Cincinnati Bengals

Throughout the 2021 NFL season, we will compile a consensus NFL Power Rankings that averages the rankings of all 32 NFL teams.

Here is where the Cincinnati Bengals rank in terms of average, best and worst:

Below you will find a Week 15 roundup for the Bengals in our consensus 2021 NFL Power Rankings.

ESPN -- Rank: 14

This confirms Cincinnati's offense as the team's worst overall unit. The Bengals have struggled to either start games well, maintain a level of consistency or a combination of both. Cincinnati's offensive line ranks next to last in pass block win rate, according to NFL Next Gen, and the Bengals often seem caught between establishing the zone running scheme and airing it out with quarterback Joe Burrow. The defense has been very solid under third-year coordinator Lou Anarumo, and Darrin Simmons' special teams have been pretty strong, with the exception of two muffed punt returns in Sunday's loss to the 49ers. -- Ben Baby

NFL.com -- Rank: 13

The Bengals have graduated from league doormat to a fun team with potential. But the next step? The one where they become a consistent winner? That continues to elude Zac Taylor's group. Cincinnati roared back from a 14-point second-half deficit to force overtime, then grabbed a 3-point lead in the extra period, only to watch the defense falter in a painful 26-23 loss to the 49ers. After the game, Taylor was left to answer questions as to why he got conservative with his play-calling once Joe Burrow and the passing game stormed into field-goal range in OT. Ja'Marr Chase offered a telling answer when asked the same question: "Shoot," he said. "Good question, man. Good question."

CBS Sports -- Rank: 12

They've lost two straight and haven't looked as crisp as in some earlier games. They still can win the division, but it has to start this week.

USA Today -- Rank: 13

WR Ja'Marr Chase's early season pace has slowed, but he's still only the fifth rookie since the 1970 AFL-NFL merger with at least 1,000 receiving yards and 10 touchdown grabs.

The Athletic -- Rank: 14

Worst-case scenario: Zac Taylor continues to take the ball out of Joe Burrow's hands in critical situations, and it costs Cincinnati a playoff spot. The Athletic's Paul Dehner Jr. lays out all the ways Taylor was conservative in the Bengals' loss to the 49ers, including running on first and second down after getting into field-goal range in overtime. The 49ers baited the Bengals with light boxes but still limited Cincinnati running backs to 3.1 yards per carry. Can other opponents follow a similar formula? The Bengals' remaining road games are against the Browns and Broncos, who both rank in the top 10 in defensive snaps featuring boxes of six defenders or less, according to TruMedia.

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