NFL Power Rankings: Bengals Remain Darkhorse as Playoffs Near

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Dec 8, 2013; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Cincinnati Bengals tight end Jermaine Gresham (84) attempts to keep Indianapolis Colts inside linebacker Jerrell Freeman (50) from a tackle while running the ball during the second half of the game at Paul Brown Stadium. Cincinnati Bengals beat Indianapolis Colts 42-28 Mandatory Credit: Marc Lebryk-USA TODAY Sports

 

Matt Miller of the Bleacher Report moved Cincinnati up one spot to no. 8 this week after their convincing win over the Colts, which likely assures that they’ll win at least the AFC’s No. 3 seed:

The Cincinnati Bengals put a statement win on the board in Week 14, smashing the Indianapolis Colts 42-28 and moving into the No. 3 seed in the AFC. With a 9-4 record, Marvin Lewis’ team looks to be in position to make the playoffs for a third straight season, too. The Bengals are deserving of a move up this week.

Even in a week when their play wasn’t perfect, the Bengals took down a playoff-caliber Colts team and proved to many doubters how good they can be. And with a home playoff game likely, the Bengals have to enter the conversation as a potential surprise team this year.

 

Pete Prisco of CBS Sports ranked the Bengals higher than anyone else at No. 5, and he’s been high on Cincy since the beginning of training camp, and he thinks they have a good chance to win the No. 2 seed in the AFVC and the bye week that comes with it.

 

Dean Holden of the Side Lion Report actually dropped the Bengals from No. 6 to 7 because of the San FRancisco 49ers’ big win over the Seattle Seahawks this wee:

7. Cincinnati Bengals (9-4) ▼1

It’s actually incredible what this team can do when they take care of the football. If Andy Dalton keeps playing like that, they have a very high ceiling in the playoffs. I’d like to see them tighten up a bit defensively. It’s not fair that they drop after a win, but it would have been more unfair to leave San Francisco unchanged after beating Seattle.

 

The Yahoo Shutdown Corner Blog ranks the Bengals seventh just two spots behind the New England Patriots, whom they’re battling for the AFC’s No. 2 seed and a first-round bye.

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    I like how they pegged Cincinnati as sloppy defense yet they held the Colts scoreless in the 1st half. It gave them enough distance to really keep this game from getting too close!