Apr 27, 2012; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Cincinnati Bengals second first round draft pick guard Kevin Zeitler (left) and head coach Marvin Lewis (right) speak during the press conference at Paul Brown Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Frank Victores-US PRESSWIRE
The Bengals didn't close out the 2011 season with much strength, but they still earned high marks in the season's final power rankings, averaging around No. 10 or 11. However, a slow beginning to the free agent frenzy did nothing to convince the national media that the Bengals had any staying power, and they fell to No. 19 in ESPN's March power rankings update. Then, when the Bengals had one of the best drafts that I can even remember, they only jumped three spots in ESPN's post-draft update to No. 16.
Pete Prisco, an NFL analyst with CBSSports.com, has the Bengals as high as No. 12 in his latest NFL Power Rankings. Prisco writes:
They had a great draft to add to a young, talented team. They aren't going anywhere. They will push for a playoff spot -- and maybe more -- again.
But, Prisco doesn't stop there. He even elaborates that one of the four biggest misconceptions of the NFL offseason is that "the Cincinnati Bengals don't have staying power". He defends his unique thoughts with this short argument (which should be obvious to any Bengals fan):
As for the Bengals, they made the playoffs as a surprise wild card team last season with rookie quarterback Andy Dalton. He is a year older and will benefit from having an entire offseason. In addition, the Bengals had the best draft of any team in the league, which will help fortify what is already a good, young roster. They're not going anywhere.
We all know that power rankings mean very little (especially the the weekly BS coming from a site called ESPN), but having an expert on your side is a very gratifying feeling. And if you like that feeling, you'll surely like what Prisco's colleague Pat Kirwan had to say about the Bengals having three consecutive good drafts and what it means in putting together a championship team.