Cincinnati Bengals still stuck near bottom of NFL Power Rankings
By Steve Rivera
You can dispute the NFL Power Rankings all you want, but they can also be a pretty good barometer of where your team is at this point in the season. Unfortunately for the Cincinnati Bengals, that’s near the bottom.
Power Rankings are a lot of things, and with one week left in the first quarter of the NFL season, the Cincinnati Bengals find themselves near the bottom at No. 30.
Devastating? Not really. The Bengals actually have a couple of winnable games in the next two weeks with the Pittsburgh Steelers this Monday night and the 0-2-1 Arizona Cardinals in Week 5. A single victory likely does little to move them but taking their record from 0-3 to possibly 3-2 could.
The Bengals are ahead of both the Miami Dolphins who are last followed by the equally hapless New York Jets.
The primary culprit for Cincinnati as pointed out in the ranking is a defense that has “managed to become even worse in 2019.” That defense was absolutely shredded in the Week 2 home opener against the San Francisco 49ers 41-17. In that game, the Bengals defense gave up a whopping 571 yards of offense. While things were not quite as bad last week in Buffalo (416 yards), it’s a trend that continues to hamper the team.
Games against the Steelers and Cardinals might help slow that trend. Getting better on defense is critical as upcoming contests against the Jacksonville Jaguars and the Los Angeles Rams will be the kind of games that could make what happened against San Francisco pale, especially with a Rams team who can be absolutely explosive.
Pittsburgh might be the game that the Bengals begin to turn that around. Steelers second-year quarterback Mason Rudolph and a struggling rushing attack are the kinds of potential advantages that can make a bad defense look less bad. The game against the Cardinals can do the same.
While 2019 looks to be a rerun on the defensive side of the football, the offense has shown signs. While it’s hard to see the Bengals move much from the lowly spot they currently occupy, Week 4 and Week 5 feature two opponents who might give them the lift they need.