AFC North Power Rankings after Week 5: Bengals in last but at least there's optimism

Cincinnati Bengals v Pittsburgh Steelers
Cincinnati Bengals v Pittsburgh Steelers / Justin K. Aller/GettyImages
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The more things change, the more other things stay the same. The power rankings for the one through three spots change every week. No team has a firm hold of the division. The one constant through the first five weeks is the team that continues to occupy the fourth spot. Unfortunately, that's the Cincinnati Bengals.

The way the season has played out thus far, we will surely have a different top three next week. But for now, here are the AFC North Power Rankings after Week 5. Here are last week's rankings, for reference.

4) Cincinnati Bengals, 2-3 (0-2 in the division)

After five weeks of the NFL season, the Bengals remain fourth in the AFC North Power Rankings. However, there is newfound optimism surrounding the team after their impressive victory against the Arizona Cardinals.

Joe Burrow looked closer to the quarterback we have become accustomed to watching the past two years. When he looks like that, the Bengals are a tough team to beat.

Ja’Marr Chase reminded everyone that he is one of the best wide receivers in the NFL, in case anyone forgot.

The Bengals have a +4 turnover differential, which is ninth in the NFL. The defense is fifth in the league with six interceptions.

As Cincinnati faces a challenging part of its schedule, there are still unresolved issues that need to be addressed. However, they seem to be getting better in every area. Offense, defense, and special teams are coming back online at the same time.

Hopefully, the momentum from their must-win victory over the Cardinals will carry over into the game against the Seattle Seahawks.

With a West Coast team coming to Cincinnati to play a 1:00 p.m. game, the Bengals need to continue to improve in critical areas to earn a victory heading into their bye week. If so, with help from the 49ers, Rams, and Titans, the Bengals will quickly find themselves, for the first time, out of the bottom spot of the AFC North Power Rankings.

Before we can worry about that, Cincinnati must win in the Jungle on Sunday if they want to claw their way out of the hole they’ve dug this season.