Week 4 was another critical weekend for the AFC North. It was the fourth consecutive weekend where two teams from within the division faced off against each other. Week 2 saw all derby rivals locked into a divisional battle as the Cincinnati Bengals faced the Baltimore Ravens and the Pittsburgh Steelers went up against the Cleveland Browns.
Cincinnati and Cleveland kicked off the proceedings in the opening week. The Bengals and Ravens followed that up in Week 2. Unfortunately, the Queen City Cats started the 2023 season 0-2 on the schedule and within the division.
We were spared interdivisional conflict in Week 3, only to have it return Sunday when the Browns hosted the Ravens.
After another entertaining football weekend, here is where the AFC North Power Rankings stand after Week 4. Spoiler alert: There is a new kid at the top of the block. Here are last week's rankings for those who are interested.
4) Cincinnati Bengals
The news is not ideal for the Cincinnati Bengals after Week 4. The team is struggling on both sides of the ball, and it does not look like there are any signs of things turning around right away.
The Bengals are still clawing themselves out of the well they dug for themselves in the first two weeks of the season. They are on the verge of doing just that. However, despite being tied for third place in the division, their emergence from the bottom of the Power Rankings must wait another week.
Cincinnati came into their matchup against the struggling Titans desperate for a second consecutive win. Unfortunately, they did not get it.
Tennessee was a team on its heels. They were caught in a zone between space and time where they were unsure what direction to take. There was even talk of ushering their starting QB out the door before the trade deadline. This was a game the Titans had to win to keep their train on the rails. They did so in impressive fashion, handing the visiting Bengals team a 27-3 loss.
As they have been since Week 1, the Bengals remain at the bottom of the division’s power rankings. It is here that they will likely stay if Joe Burrow continues to play on a hurt calf and if the coaches can’t find a way to work around it.
On the bright side of a dimming season, they are one game behind Pittsburgh and Cleveland (though the Browns do own the head-to-head tiebreaker). With a win against Arizona and a Steelers loss to the Ravens, the Bengals could find themselves climbing the AFC North standings. What a difference a week could make!