ESPN released their first preseason power rankings on Tuesday, ranking the Cincinnati Bengals in dead last. Of course these rankings, ratings and lists are completely subjective, often managed by evil crab people that live under Earth's tectonic plates, generating some of the world's worse disaster like Earthquakes, Volcanoes and Justin Bieber.
Generally speaking the idea of ESPN ranking the Bengals in last place didn't really phase Bengals fans; nor should it. If we're ranked 32nd now, we have no where to go but up. And just before echoing the somewhat scary, uncomfortable Marvin Lewis laugh, all we can say is "that's a good thing."
Pro Football Weekly followed suited, listing the Bengals as the worst team in their power rankings, writing:
No team has had a worse offseason. Period.
That was rough. Though it's mostly honest.
Even though things seemed to pick up after a while, we've made the reference several times that this could be Cincinnati's worst offseason in recent memory. The public Marvin Lewis negotiation, Cincinnati's noble franchise quarterback teaching children what best to do during adverse conditions, three players arrested, losing their top free agent player in Johnathan Joseph all made for a messy offseason. And the press conferences with Mike Brown. Oh dear, god. Make those horrifying moments stop. Soon after the offseason led into the preseason, Keith Rivers had surgery that's likely keeping him out for a prolonged period of time and linebacker Roddrick Muckelroy suffered a season-ending injury. Are we serious?
Even then Bengals fans will find optimism already. Training camp has shown periods of excitement with the athletic performances of wide receivers A.J. Green and Jerome Simpson. There's a youthful excitement with the club that's starting to rub off on people. These guys want to be here. A new quarterback that's often defined as a strong leader will be taking snaps with an offense that's wiping out the remnants of Bob Bratkowski's stale offense. Could there be a better reason to call this offseason successful?
It's really not that bad. And as ESPN and PFW are showing, there's really no where to go but up.