Bleacher Report's Matt Miller had the Bengals lower than any other expert last week at number eight. This week, Miller again was the expert least impressed by the Bengals. At least he moved the Bengals up to number five.
The Cincinnati Bengals move to 2-0 after a big win over the Atlanta Falcons. Through two weeks, the AFC North looks like theirs to win. The Bengals didn't just beat the Falcons, they dominated them by forcing Matt Ryan into three interceptions and holding them to just 10 points after watching Atlanta put up 37 points against New Orleans in Week 1.
Thanks to big plays from Andy Dalton and Mohamed Sanu, Cincinnati was able to make a statement with the win. Depending on A.J. Green's health (he left the game early with a foot injury), the Bengals could be making a case for one of the AFC's top teams.
Over at Yahoo Sports' Shutdown Corner, Frank Schwab had an interesting tirade about the Bengals looking like the best team in the NFL based on a two week window. He then ranked them at No. 4.
If you knew nothing about the NFL before Sept. 4, were dropped in and watched the first two weeks and had to determine the best team in the NFL just off that, the answer would be easy. It's the Cincinnati Bengals.
It's not particularly close, either. In Week 1, the Bengals played very well in a road win against the Ravens. Four days later, the Ravens looked phenomenal against the Steelers. The Falcons couldn't be stopped against the Saints in a Week 1 win. Then Atlanta played Cincinnati, and the Falcons didn't score until deep into the fourth quarter when the game's result was not in doubt anymore.
I'm not quite ready to buy into Andy Dalton and Marvin Lewis being the leaders of the best team in the NFL. But they're creeping up. A few more dominant weeks like the first one, and they'll be in the discussion. They've clearly moved into the small group of teams that is clearly good enough to be called Super Bowl contenders. But I don't think the Bengals should be No. 1.
They're in the circle of trust. This is one of the few teams that is good enough to be a legitimate Super Bowl contender. They've been announcing to us so far that they're elite.
SB Nation's own Danny Kelly, who had the Bengals at No. 7 last week, moved the Bengals up to No. 3. He also had some kind words about the Bengals defense, which was especially impressive considering that Kelly is a Seahawks writer himself.
The Bengals move up with another dominating defensive performance combined with efficiency on offense, though the potential loss of A.J. Green throws up a big red flag. The Seahawks had generally received the nod as the best defense in the NFL going into this season, but it looks like Bengals might give them a run for their money with their second straight strong showing.
Peter King moved the Bengals up to No. 3 in his "Fine Fifteen" in the Monday Morning Quarterback. King also included a chart of opposing quarterback ratings in the last 10 games at Paul Brown Stadium. Only Andrew Luck's was above a 73.
No Mike Zimmer, no problem. The Bengals under new coordinator Paul Guenther have allowed 26 points and held opposing quarterbacks to a 61.7 passer rating.
Despite losing their best offensive player (A.J. Green) early in the first quarter, the Bengals once again produced just enough offense to complement a defense that has talent on every level and produces on a consistent basis. Green will likely be back after their Week 4 bye week.
joint staff robots also moved the Bengals up to No. 3.
No A.J. Green, no problem. Green left with a toe injury and didn't make a catch for the first time when active in his career, but the Bengals handled Atlanta.
USA Today also had the Bengals at No. 3, on par with the rest of the media giants. Yawn.
Not only are they 2-0, they've done it with limited contributions from injured WR A.J. Green and LB Vontaze Burfict.
Ross Tucker, a radio and podcast broadcaster, was one of only three analysts to have the Bengals third last week. Tucker didn't move them up past the Seahawks, but he had plenty of great analysis about the team's performance so far.
Back to back weeks the Bengals are here, and they have served notice that they've got a really good squad this year. Think about everything they've lost, and they've only allowed one hit on Andy Dalton so far. The offensive line is playing really well- they did it through the air one week, they did it on the ground the next week.
The defense under Paul Guenther has been solid. As we mentioned in the week 2 recap yesterday, I can't say enough about the job Guenther's done. They've lost a bunch of guys to injuries... Marvin Jones, Eifert, AJ Green and other guys going out... and they just keep clicking. Think about how good they could be when they get all of these guys back.
NFL.com's Eliot Harrison had the Bengals at No. 5 last week, and was so impressed by the win over the Atlanta Falcons that he moved them up to No. 2, behind only the Denver Broncos.
Message delivered. I thought I might have had the Bengals a bit high last week, placing them within the top five -- and then they went out and destroyed the Falcons. Impressive win, to say the least. Consider this just a whisper, but after watching his performance in the preseason and in Week 2, is it possible that Cincinnati rookie Jeremy Hill is more effective running the football than second-year pro Giovani Bernard?
Pete Prisco, always infatuated with the Bengals, had them at No. 2. We love you, Pete.
Two of the teams I spent significant time with this summer were the Cincinnati Bengals and the Arizona Cardinals. When I left those places, I did so with the idea that both would have good football teams, would be in the playoffs, and quite possibly could push for a lot more.
Two weeks in, I think I could be right. The Bengals are 2-0 and disposed of the Atlanta Falcons and their high-flying offense in grand style on Sunday. The defense showed against a good offense in Atlanta that it is one of the best in the NFL. This is a serious Super Bowl contender.
Another CBS Sports' expert, Pat Kirwan, had the Bengals at No. 2. Kirwan was one of three analysts to have the Bengals at No. 3 last week.
The undefeated Bengals continue to impress, especially on defense, where they have only given up 26 points. They are home again this week against Tennessee.
Cincy Jungle's own Mickey Mentzer moved the Bengals up to No. 2 in an article published this morning.
The Bengals have two quality wins in two weeks. They handled a tough road game and then shut down a good offense at home. Could be the best team in the league right now.
Average Ranking: 2.92
There you have it, most 'experts' think the Bengals are the third best team in the league, or better.
Last week's average number was 4.85.
It's a bit of a shame that a consensus top three NFL team is having trouble selling out its second home game of the season. Or course, tickets are expensive when bought officially through the team. But, at the rate the Bengals are selling tickets now, the game will be blacked out. The game is "not expected to air" on television if you live within a 75 mile radius of downtown Cincinnati.
(2/3) If u live w/in 75 miles of Cincy & want to view #TENvsCIN I would advise u to order tix. The game is not expected to air on local TV.— Andrew Brown (@BengalTicketGuy) September 16, 2014
Tickets for this Sunday's game against the Tennessee Titans can be bought online at this link. The deadline for the game to be declared a sellout is Thursday at 1 p.m. Tickets sales must reach an 85 percent threshold of non-premium seats.
Tickets also may be purchased through the Bengals Ticket Hotline at 513-621-8383, or toll-free at 866-621-8383 (TDTD), or in person at the Paul Brown Stadium ticket office.