Cincinnati Bengals: Ranking the AFC North entering Week 2
By Steve Rivera
If Week 1 of the 2019 NFL season told fans anything, it’s that conventional wisdom can be wrong, very wrong, and downright fantasy. With Week 2 kicking off on Thursday night, the AFC North might not be what many thought it would, including the Cincinnati Bengals.
Entering the preseason, the conventional wisdom was that the Cleveland Browns would be the class of the AFC North, with both the Pittsburgh Steelers and Baltimore Ravens close behind. While that pecking order looked to be debatable, what wasn’t was the assumption that the Cincinnati Bengals would finish dead last.
Week 1 of any NFL season breeds a ton of overreaction and overhype. In the North, the hype is in full-blown overdrive as more than a few have jumped off the Browns bandwagon. It’s a “prisoner of the moment” reaction as one week doesn’t necessarily indicate what will ultimately transpire over the next 15 games.
Odds are the truth is somewhere in the middle. The Browns and Steelers aren’t that bad, the Ravens beat a tanking Dolphins team, and the Steelers lost at New England. But hey, who doesn’t?
As for the Bengals. It’s all about good feelings after an admirable loss in Seattle. Cincinnati lost a game they should have won. They might not have many of those, but one thing is for sure and that’s the conventional wisdom may have been all wrong.
Week 2 will do what it always does, and that is to bring a greater and more logical sense of reality to the NFL. In 2016, the Los Angeles Rams were 3-1 entering October. They only won one more game that season before Jeff Fisher was sent packing.
Bottom line, a lot of football will be played before we know much of anything.