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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 16 roundup for the Bengals in our consensus 2021 NFL Power Rankings.

ESPN -- Rank: 14

How hot is Zac Taylor's seat: 3. Warm seat

What's the option between lukewarm and warm? Like a cup of coffee you poured roughly 20 minutes ago? Because that's what Taylor's situation feels like. Cincinnati got a much-needed win against Denver to stay in the playoff chase. And the Bengals' hopes of being a postseason contender are still very much alive, as Cincinnati holds a share of the AFC North lead heading into Week 16. This team has already exceeded preseason expectations, and Taylor deserves ample credit for that. But there's still some work to be done as the team closes out Taylor's third season. -- Ben Baby

NFL.com -- Rank: 12

Predicting where this winding Bengals season goes is a fool's errand, but it's at least possible Joe Burrow's 56-yard touchdown strike to Tyler Boyd on Sunday is remembered as a turning point. Cincinnati's offense was in a deep slumber before that third-quarter strike, and it allowed the Bengals to escape with a 15-10 win over the Broncos that kept their playoff hopes from slipping into dream territory. Of course, one big play doesn't cover up for the sins of an attack that was mostly limp against Denver's quality defense. A Week 16 matchup against the Ravens should tell us a lot about both teams. It's clarity that we seek in the AFC North.

CBS Sports -- Rank: 11

That was a big-time victory on the road against Denver, thanks to the defense. Now they face a key division game against the Ravens.

USA Today -- Rank: 13

Complete season sweep of Baltimore on Sunday, and Cincinnati stands a great chance to win first AFC North crown since 2015. But Ravens have won three of four at Paul Brown Stadium.

The Athletic -- Rank: 13

Our gift to you: Better protection for Joe Burrow. The Broncos blitzed the Bengals on just 7.8 percent of Burrow's dropbacks Sunday, according to TruMedia, Denver's lowest rate of the season. Yet Cincinnati still gave up three sacks and Burrow was pressured on an eye-popping 41.4 percent of his dropbacks. Overall, Cincinnati's sack rate of 9.1 percent ranks 30th in the NFL. The Bengals have the offensive skill talent necessary to challenge anyone in the AFC, but there is a hard ceiling on what that group will be able to do down the stretch if it can't do a better job keeping Burrow upright.

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