The AFC North has one team alone at the top in first place at 2-0, two teams tied for second with 1-1 records, and then the Cincinnati Bengals alone in the basement at 0-2.
For the Bengals, what we see is unflattering, like the suit pants you haven’t tried on in over a year. As confident you are in yourself, and as much as you look in the mirror and say this year is no different than the last, things just do not fit like they did a year ago.
However, the rest of the division has shown up to the party, perhaps not as great-looking as the rest of the NFL, but better than you, at least for now. Things can change fast in the league. It is a long party, so things could start looking better depending on how things turn around.
But for now, these Week 2 AFC North Power Rankings are an excellent reflection of how the Steelers, Ravens, Browns, and Steelers look within their division. Here are last week's rankings in case you need a refresher.
4. Cincinnati Bengals
Unfortunately for fans of the Bengals, the team is exactly where it was last week. Once again, they are at the bottom of the division’s power rankings.
Even though Cincinnati played better than they did in Week 1 against the Browns, it still was not enough to overcome a slow start against the Ravens. The Bengals are in a deeper hole than they found themselves in at the beginning of last season.
This is especially alarming on the heels of our Leader-in-Chief, Joe Burrow, reaggravating his calf injury. Perhaps we should have paid more attention to picking up what Ja’Marr Chase was putting down in the preseason regarding his quarterback’s status.
Nevertheless, the Bengals played well enough and had a chance to pull themselves from the bottom rung of the AFC North power rankings with a come-back victory over the Ravens. Alas, that possibility came up short, and now the team by the river is slowly creeping up the river with an important paddle possibly splintering.
The Bengals are 0-2 to start the season. They are also 0-2 within the division. Much like Burrow’s calf injury, rebounding from the hole they find themselves in could take some time. Bengals fans should hope it doesn’t take too long so the team can cling to the hope of making a playoff push at the end of the season.
For this week’s power rankings, as the only team in the division without a win, the fourth spot indubitably belongs to the Bengals.