Week Five NFL Power Rankings: Cincinnati Bengals Make Impressive Jump

CINCINNATI, OH - OCTOBER 02: A Cincinnati Bengals cheerleader performs during the NFL game against the Buffalo Bills at Paul Brown Stadium on October 2, 2011 in Cincinnati, Ohio. The Bengals won 23-20. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

Apparently if you're 1-2 and beat an undefeated Buffalo Bills squad during the expiring seconds of the game, it significantly improves your standing in many people's perspectives. This week's Power Rankings pushed the Bengals respectability factor by as much as six spots around the 21st ranking; all of whom noted that the Bengals sport the league's best defense. Pete Prisco of CBSSports.com writes:

They have the top-ranked defense in the NFL. That front seven gets after it. Andy Dalton to A.J. Green is a combination that will be around for a long time.

And as we've noted already Tuesday morning, both rookies are nominated for weekly awards this week. Former Ravens head coach Brian Billick, now with Fox Sports, nails a more radical approach:

Marvin Lewis deserves mention for Coach of the Year to be 2-2 after the first quarter of the season. The Bengals are 12-2 when Cedric Benson runs for 100 yards. I would make sure he gets his touches every week, but that is just me.

Actually, there's no fiber, molecule or cell that exists in Cedric Benson's body that could absolutely agree more. And the point about Lewis being mentioned for Coach of the Year isn't that far fetched. The Cincinnati Bengals improved after a four-win season in 2008 to become the AFC North champions the following season with Lewis winning Coach of the Year. Now our only connection to that is really the fact Cincinnati won four games in 2010 and the fact that the Bengals are significantly more successful during odd-numbered seasons. But that's not a stretch. Noooo. This week's power rankings:

Power Rankings Placement LW
SB Nation 21st 25th
ESPN's Power Rankings 21st 27th
Pete Prisco (CBSSports.com) 22nd 27th
NFL.com 21st 26th
Pro Football Talk 21st 25th
Brian Billick (FoxSports) 22nd 24th
Your Heart 1st 1st
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