SB Nation's own Danny Kelly, a Seahawks writer, has had the Bengals lower than most. He was one of three writers to put both Denver and Seattle ahead of the Bengals.
A consistently suffocating Bengals defense held a struggling Titans group to seven points, and Cincy cruised to a blowout victory.
Bleacher Report's Matt Miller is another guy who has been slow to move the Bengals up in his rankings. He placed them third, moving them up from fifth last week.
It's time to have a talk about the Cincinnati Bengals. In a conference dominated by the elite quarterback teams (Denver, New England, San Diego), the Bengals are playing as well as anyone. And they've been tested too. Winning against Baltimore and Atlanta to start the season looks better every week, and their Week 3 throttling of the Tennessee Titans showed the firepower and creativity of a great team. The Bengals have the pieces on both sides of the ball to do serious damage this year. The biggest test will be in keeping their foot on the gas with a 3-0 start to the season. As of today, though, they are clearly one of the league's best teams.
Frank Schwab of Yahoo's Shutdown Corner is the last of the trio of men who have the Bengals outside the top two.
The Bengals are the best of the [undefeated] group. Their offense has been diverse, especially with quarterback Andy Dalton playing well and running back Giovani Bernard emerging as a star. They're an impressive 3-0, yet you're forgiven if you have some reservations about completely buying in. You remember the playoffs the last three years.Love the Andy Dalton TD catch. That's when you know things are going well.
Pat Kirwan is one of five experts who placed only Seattle ahead of Cincinnati.
The 3-0 Bengals have yielded only 33 points (backing an offense averaging 26.7 points over three games) and have a bye before a showdown in New England on Oct. 5.
A Fox Sports joint staff had some kind words for Margus Hunt.
Another dominant performance in the trenches. Facing Ray Horton’s pressure-based Titans defense, the Bengals managed to prevent all but one quarterback hurry the entire game. On defense, second-year DE Margus Hunt continues to show progress and could be an impact player late in the season. The Bengals have an identity that they stick by and they are very good at what they do.
Peter King moved the Bengals up to second place in his Fine Fifteen. King also got a great quote from Dalton in his Monday Morning Quarterback: "What I like about what we’re doing, is we put defenses on edge. They don’t know what we’re doing." Be sure to read that section of the article, if you haven't yet.
Amazing performances continue with the rout of the Titans. What don’t the Bengals do well right now? Andy Dalton even catches touchdowns. Gio Bernard is turning into a terrific all-around back. And look at the defense: In three games, opposing quarterbacks have a league-low 56.9 rating. Now the Bengals have the early bye, then … Bengals at Patriots in 13 days sure looks like it could be a great game.
An ESPN "power panel", a group of more than 80 staff members, placed only the Seahawks ahead of the Bengals. Cincinnati received first place votes.
Andy Dalton is the only qualified quarterback in the league who hasn't been sacked this season. That, and a league-best plus-6 turnover margin, helps explain Cincinnati's hot start.
A USA Today joint staff also put Cincinnati in the number two slot.
Even if pummeling the Titans isn't reason to celebrate, their Week 2 beatdown of the Falcons now looks far more impressive.
Eliot Harrison is one of four experts to consider Cincinnati as the best team in the NFL right now. He didn't even have Denver or Seattle in his top four. Harrison had all three undefeated teams in the top three.
Titans corner Blidi Wreh-Wilson should not feel bad about that Andy Dalton receiving touchdown from Sunday's Bengals win; it's widely known in NFL circles that Dalton always meets the ball at its highest point. Cincinnati earned the top spot by virtue of having a defense that allows just 11 points per game, a quarterback who has made few mistakes and isn't asked to put everything on his shoulders and a running attack that is grinding out 121.7 yards per contest. Survey says! 2013 Seahawks 2.0.
Our own Mickey Mentzer was another expert to place the Bengals number one overall (Yes, I'm considering Mickey an expert). Mickey's rankings are always well thought out and well ranked, give them a read if you haven't already.
The Bengals first three wins show they are the best three win team in the league. They hold a +47 point differential and only have trailed for 48 seconds the entire season.
Another week, another high ranking from our favorite analyst, Pete Prisco.
You can't make a case for Seattle being number one because they lost to San Diego. You can't make a case for the Broncos being number one because they lost to Seattle. The Seahawks aren't the best team in the league, the Bengals are the best team in the league. I think the Bengals would beat Seattle at home and I think Seattle would beat the Bengals at home. The Cincinnati Bengals have not allowed a sack this season, they've allowed opposing quarterbacks to a passer rating of less than 60.0 in their games. They're doing a great job on both sides of the football, best team in the league right now.
They head into the bye at 3-0 behind a defense that has really impressed. The creativity on offense has been good the first three weeks
Finally, there's radio/podcast broadcaster, Ross Tucker who also put the Bengals number one overall.
They've played three NFL teams, including two of which that are 2-1, and they've been dominant. Even though they've missed some guys, they've clearly been the best team in the NFL so far. And after three weeks, it's time to reward them. The Seahawks looked a little iffy in the first quarter against the Broncos, and they lost to the Chargers. I'm giving the Bengals the credit that they deserve. Now, would they beat the Seahawks at a neutral field? I don't know, but I like their chances. If it's not in Seattle right now, I like the Bengals chances. Congratulations, Cincinnati. You are the number one team.
Average Ranking: 1.92
Last week, it was 2.92. The week before it was 4.85.
In two weeks, a win on Sunday Night Football in the home of the New England Patriots would convince even more experts that the Bengals are the best team in the league right now. It certainly helps that the Bengals have an extra week to prepare and rest, while the Patriots will be coming off a short week after Monday Night Football at Kansas City.