AFC North Power Rankings after Week 12: Bengals might need to get used to cellar

It's no surprise who's in last...

Pittsburgh Steelers v Cincinnati Bengals
Pittsburgh Steelers v Cincinnati Bengals / Andy Lyons/GettyImages
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The results from Week 12 of the NFL season leave the AFC North in a similar position as last week. The Cincinnati Bengals are searching for a path to remain relevant and somehow make the playoffs. The Browns and Steelers remain tied at the hip, with seemingly only a slightly better defense and quarterback injuries separating the two teams. And then there is Baltimore, which remains at the top of the division as well as the conference.

Here is where each team falls on this week’s AFC North Power Rankings after Week 12.

4) Cincinnati Bengals

The Cincinnati Bengals continue to dwell in the depths of the AFC North Power Rankings. The fading light at the end of the tunnel heading to the playoffs is getting smaller and dimmer. 

When discussing what has not gone right for the Bengals, it is easy to concentrate on Cincinnati’s offense, especially now that Joe Burrow is out for the year. They only managed 10 points against the Steelers on Sunday. Even without Burrow, with the firepower that Cincinnati is reputed to have, 222 total yards and 10 points are on the low end of what we should expect.

However, the defense is also struggling. Lou Anarumo’s unit now ranks last in the NFL in net yards per play allowed. Their expected points added from their defense (-62.17) rank 28th. The other teams from the division are in the top 10. The Ravens and Browns rank first and second, respectively.

The defense continues to lead the league in explosive plays allowed and despite only surrendering 16 points, they relinquished the most yards to a Steelers team in 58 regular-season games.

The Bengals have now lost three consecutive games. They will try to keep their dwindling playoff hopes alive on Monday night when they face the Jacksonville Jaguars.