It was a rough Sunday for the four California teams. How did that possibly affect the latest edition of the NFL Power Rankings?
Cincinnati Bengals 1-13
Last week: L, 34-13 vs NE
Last rank: 32nd
Recap: Zac Taylor’s team hosted the defending Super Bowl champion New England Patriots, who had been struggling as of late. Bengals’ quarterback Andy Dalton had played solid football since his return to the starting lineup and vs. Bill Belichick’s club on Sunday, he and his team were down just 13-10 at halftime and had already managed to rush for 106 yards. But the veteran signal-caller threw three interceptions in the third quarter – the second returned 64 yards for a touchdown by New England cornerback Stephon Gilmore – and was picked off a total of four times by afternoon’s end. It was part of a dismal five-turnover performance by Taylor’s club.
Next Week: The Bengals make their way to South Florida for the first time since 2013 looking to build on their recent success in their series with the Dolphins as these clubs battle for the third time in four years. Cincinnati has won the last two encounters dating back to ’16 – both at home – including a 27-17 victory a season ago (Week 5).
Draft Talk: While selecting a quarterback early in the draft certainly wouldn’t be out of the question, Cincinnati’s defense has been dreadful these past two seasons and the club could use some help in every facet. Both Geno Atkins and Carlos Dunlap are in the midst of their 10th NFL seasons and a little youth up front would be a plus.
Detroit Lions 3-10-1
Last week: L, 38-17 vs TB
Last rank: 28th
Recap: Matt Patricia’s club was already assured of finishing last in the NFC North for the second consecutive year as the Lions welcomed the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to the Motor City. With 8:13 remaining in the first half, Detroit found itself down 21-0 and outgained 314-2 in total yards. By afternoon’s end, Patricia’s defense was exploited for 495 total yards and four more touchdowns through the air. David Blough made another start and threw for 260 yards but served up a pair of interceptions – one of those returned 70 yards for a touchdown. Wideout Danny Amendola caught eight passes for 102 yards in the 21-point setback. Make it seven straight losses for the Lions.
Next Week: The Lions head west to the Mile High City as they battle the Denver Broncos for the first time since 2015. That season, Detroit fell at home on a Sunday night to the eventual Super Bowl 50 champions, 24-12. The Lions’ last appearance in Denver came eight years ago and the Men from Motown rolled to a 45-10 victory.
Draft Talk: General manager Bob Quinn spent big money last offseason in adding defensive end Trey Flowers. And after a slow start, he’s come up with a half-dozen sacks in his last six outings. But the Detroit defense has been a major disappointment and the Lions need to add some young talent to a unit that is devoid of playmakers.