The Bengals fall perfectly in line with the overall script of the NFL this season. Play as inconsistently as possible on a weekly basis to ensure there is no overall vision of how teams stack up in the NFL. In other words, power rankings this season are near impossible. The Bengals early this season had a legitimate claim to the top of the rankings and after a 3 week slide could have become one of the bottom of the pack teams.
After a win against the "new" hot team in the NFL, surely the Bengals should gain some favor in the eyes of the experts doing the rankings. I mean, they should be on top of Baltimore at least, right?
Not so says the USA Today (who is not one of our normally included rankings but for your enjoyment I link to them here). These "experts" like the Bengals at 13 with no movement from last week. No, their movement was for Baltimore who moved UP a spot after losing to the Bengals. Keeping the Bengals firmly at 13 while bumping Baltimore up to 7th makes total sense to the paper that steals it's name from our fine nation. The logic:
Usually wideouts draw pass interference penalties with some timely histrionics. Maybe S George Iloka should switch to offense.
So, it is safe to say you didn't like the call? Moving on...
The Bengals lowest ranking comes from Fox Sports who also did not seem impressed by the win. The Bengals remain at 16 again this week with the explanation of:
A.J. Green believes he will play this week -- and the offense desperately needs him back. The Bengals defense deserves credit for holding the Ravens from scoring seven points on their final possession.
You could also give the Bengals credit for a gutsy 4th down QB sneak call against a stout run defense. Or actually finishing the drive that put them into the position to end the game. But at least there is some credit.
NFL.com gives the Bengals the second lowest ranking at 14. While Elliot Harrison has had the Bengals as high as number 2 in his rankings, his reason for questioning the Bengals is a valid one.
Nice divisional win for the Bengals, who are keeping pace in the AFC North. The defense showed up. The running game? Still sluggish. Though it's supposed to be a strength, Cincinnati's ground attack is middling. Leaning on my Cincy faithful here: Is it Giovani Bernard trying to bounce outside too much? Rookie-ness from Jeremy Hill? The offensive line?
The running game is a question mark and is something the Bengals will hope to strengthen as they make it into the final half of the season.
A couple rankings show the Bengals at 12. The first is ESPN who pair their rankings with the following description:
Cincinnati is in good shape moving forward. The Bengals get the Jaguars, Browns, Saints, Texans and Buccaneers from now to Week 13, a stretch that should produce a few wins.
Darn right the Bengals should produce a few wins. This is the part of the schedule the Bengals should distance themselves from the rest of the division in.
SI also has the Bengals at 12 (and questions the tie again, aren't we past that?)
It's been a roller-coaster seven games for the Bengals, but had you asked the players before the season if they would take a 4-2-1 start with a season sweep of Baltimore, they'd have signed on the dotted line. (OK, half probably would have asked, "You can tie in the NFL?" but that's beside the point.)
Pete Prisco from CBS has always been behind the Bengals. He currently has them at the number 10 spot and shares the excitement of all Bengals fans that A.J. Green should be back soon.
By sweeping the season series against the Ravens, they now lead the division. Getting A.J. Green back will be huge.
Last but certainly not least is my new favorite rankings done by our very own SBNation. They have the Bengals in the number 8 overall spot. This is a 6 team jump on the back of the win and sweep against Baltimore.
The Bengals bounced back from last week's shutout at the hands of the Colts with a big victory over the division rival Ravens.
With an average ranking of 12, the Bengals are firmly in the top half of the NFL teams and can improve with a seemingly softer part of their schedule on the horizon.