AFC North Power Rankings after Week 14: Bengals claw out of cellar, Ravens fly high

It's much warmer outside of the basement.

Bengals Sam Hubbard (94) enters the field for the Bengals vs. Colts game at Paycor Stadium on Sunday
Bengals Sam Hubbard (94) enters the field for the Bengals vs. Colts game at Paycor Stadium on Sunday / Phil Didion/The Enquirer / USA TODAY
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3) Cincinnati Bengals 

After weeks of couch surfing at the bottom of the AFC North Power rankings, the Cincinnati Bengals have moved out of last place.

The Bengals are on an improbable run, winning their last two games. Both victories come at the expense of AFC conference foes who are ahead of them in the standings. Those two head-to-head victories could be crucial as several teams with a record of 7-6 fight to secure a place in the playoffs.

Quarterback Jake Browning continues to find success as the Bengals’ starter after Joe Burrow’s season unceremoniously ended due to a wrist injury. Browning’s stat line against the Colts read 18 for 24, 276 yards passing, two touchdowns, and one interception.

The rushing attack found its footing as Joe Mixon, Chase Brown, and Browning combined for 111 yards rushing on 32 carries and two touchdowns.

Unfortunately, due to the convoluted tiebreaker formula, Cincinnati remains on the outside looking in if the season were to end today but the season does not end today. There is still a story left to tell for the Bengals in the 2023 season. The team has done an excellent job taking things one game at a time.

Next up for Cincinnati are the Minnesota Vikings. It is another must-win matchup if the Bengals hope to find themselves in the playoffs in January.

However, this week, we can rejoice that the Bengals are out of last place in the power rankings for the first time in a long time.