The Cincinnati Bengals start their season on the road in Baltimore this week. They also find themselves in the top 10 of top NFL power rankings to start the season was well.
In 3 of the top NFL Power Rankings released today, the Cincinnati Bengals find themselves placed in the top 10, a place they were bumped from after losing in the early stages of last years playoffs. CBS Sports, NFL.com, and ESPN all have the Bengals ranked 10 or higher.
ESPN.com has the Bengals ranked 9th stating:
Geno Atkins missed seven games last year and the Bengals finished with the fourth-lowest QBR allowed. A healthy Atkins should bolster an already-fierce defense.
They are exactly right. Geno is a huge upgrade for this defense, since he left midway in the season with injury. They could have definitely used his shutdown mentality against the Chargers in the second half of the AFC Wildcard game.
Pete Prisco of CBSSports.com has the Bengals ranked 6th:
I believe the offense will take a big step forward with Hue Jackson running things, and they have talent on defense.
Although we could argue that this is an incredibly generous ranking for a team that hasn’t won a playoff game in 20+ years, I have to admit I am excited about this offensive scheme as well.
Finally, NFL.com’s Elliot Harrison has the Bengals ranked at 10th:
With all the Chatty Cathys droning on about Andy Dalton‘s past playoff failures, it kinda feels like the Bengals quarterback is 50 years old and preparing for his 29th NFL season — rather than his fourth. Either way, to me, he seems to play better — with an edge, even — when he’s sporting a goatee. I still remember the first time I saw David Caruso with a goatee. Fierce stuff.
Probably the most in line ranking with where I was thinking they should start. Although, with Andy Dalton’s first two preseason games and the first strings preseason showing, it could be argued for higher.
I am looking forward to the season and I can’t wait to see their week 1 matchup against the Ravens. They lost in overtime at Baltimore last season and I would not be surprised if they steal the show early on this season. Especially with a healthy starting lineup.