Football is officially back! After this weekend’s games, some are happier about that than others. Do not fret, for it is only the first week of the NFL season.
A lot is bound to change and while we should not overreact to anything, it was an important weekend in the AFC North standings. Here are where the power rankings for the division stand after the first weekend of the 2023 NFL season.
4. Cincinnati Bengals
The Cincinnati Bengals, by far, played the worst game of any of their AFC North rivals this weekend. Quarterback Joe Burrow had the worst game of his career. The Bengals’ offense only managed 82 yards passing. That was the fewest passing yards of Week 1. The run game did not fare much better, as the team only managed 75 yards on the ground. The Cincinnati offense looked inept the entire game against the Cleveland Browns.
The defense fared better in the game, only allowing 144 total passing yards and forcing an interception. However, they gave up 206 yards rushing.
The good news for the Bengals and for every NFL team that suffered a loss this weekend is that it is only Week 1. As Joe Burrow so eloquently pointed out, the results from this week do not make or break a team. This is not the time to panic.
The Cincinnati Bengals are used to getting off to slow starts in their season under head coach Zac Taylor. Last year, they lost their first two games before returning to the AFC Championship game.
While it’s not all doom and gloom for the men in stripes, they must right the ship immediately to avoid a 0-2 start. More importantly, with the Baltimore Ravens visiting Cincinnati in Week 2, the Bengals can’t afford to start the season 0-2 against their AFC North division rivals.