CINCINNATI — The Bengals were eighth in Sports Illustrated's Week 13 power rankings, but they took a big tumble following their 41-22 loss to the Chargers.
Cincinnati checks in at 14th this week, just one spot ahead of the San Francisco 49ers, who they'll welcome to Paul Brown Stadium on Sunday.
"Sometimes, NFL seasons hinge on something as small as a pinkie finger. The Bengals understand that better this week, after their quarterback, Joe Burrow, finished out the loss to the Chargers with a digit so swollen that it was visible even on TV, without requiring a zoomed-in angle," Greg Bishop wrote. "Cameras never missed an opportunity to show Burrow—on the sideline, in pain; warming up, still in pain; shaking his hand, in pain; throwing passes, in pain; or sitting while holding his hand, in pain, and all afternoon. His default facial expression was: grimace. That the injury happened on pinky in his throwing hand only made it worse, both last week and in weeks upcoming. While Burrow played every snap last week, the health of the Bengals playoff hopes will rest on his dislocated right pinky, and how quickly it can heal, with contests against formidable defenses—49ers, Broncos, Ravens, Chiefs—next on the schedule. Still, if the postseason started today, the Bengals would be in."
The Ravens are ninth in the power rankings. The Steelers and Browns check in at 16th and 20th respectively.
Check out Sports Illustrated's complete Week 14 power rankings here.
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