Despite winning 11 games and the AFC North, Matt Miller of Bleacher Report ranked the Bengals No. 10 in his final rankings:
"The Bengals are an obvious contender, but their playoff potential all rests on quarterback Andy Dalton. The team won in spite of him at times this year, and even in the regular-season finale he struggled with turnovers. For the Bengals to make it to the second round of the playoffs, Dalton has to be the player we saw when he was the AFC Offensive Player of the Month in October and not the inconsistent passer who showed up too often this year."
Fansided’s own Side Lion Report tabbed the Bengals at No. 6, also noting how they were able to win convincingly in spite of four interceptions thrown by Andy Dalton:
"6. Cincinnati Bengals (11-5, AFC No. 3 Seed) ▲2 Andy Dalton threw four interceptions, including one in the end zone, and the Bengals won in a blowout. That’s downright scary when you think about what they could do if Dalton can play even a reasonably clean game. That’s an “if,” not a “when,” though."
Frank Schwab of Yahoo Sports believes the Bengals offense is being undersold, leading to his No. 7 ranking for them:
"In Cincinnati’s last four games, it scored 42 points twice and 34 in the finale despite four interceptions. They’re better on offense than they get credit for."