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The Bengals are still undefeated after defeating the Buffalo Bills 34-21. With Cincinnati heading into the bye week at 6-0, this is clearly a team to be reckoned with in 2015. They also continue to be pegged as one of the two or three best teams in power rankings, and they're ranked as high as they've ever been in the Marvin Lewis era.
For the most part, the Patriots are holding on to the top spot with a few votes for the Packers as the NFL's best team. The good news for Cincinnati is they don't play either one of those clubs, and at this rate, may not face New England unless it is in an AFC Championship game. We still have a long way to go until we even talk about playoff matchups, but through the first six weeks, the Bengals and Patriots have clearly been the AFC's best.
NFL.com's Elliot Harrison offered the best breakdown on why everyone should be believing in this Bengals squad:
For anyone who didn't believe in the Bengals, uh, now is the time to start. Putting up 34 points on the Bills' defense, on the road, in inclement conditions, would meet any sort of litmus test, especially one week after Cincinnati came back from a 17-point deficit against the Seahawks. Sure, this team was fortunate to get EJ Manuel instead of Tyrod Taylor. But that shouldn't diminish the shine on this win.
By the way, Bengals tight end Tyler Eifert is on pace for, like, 91 touchdowns this year.
SB Nation's Danny Kelly is one of the few to now have the Bengals all the way up at the No. 2 spot, thanks in large part to the ascendance of Andy Dalton:
If you're still waiting for Andy Dalton to falter, you may be wasting your time. Dalton shows absolutely no sign of slowing down, and the Bengals' dominant 34-21 win over the Bills pushed his season passing line to 130 of 193 (67 percent), 1,761 yards at 9.1 YPA (!) and 14 touchdowns to two picks. That's a season-long pace of 4,696 yards passing, 37 touchdowns and five picks. He has been fantastic this season despite what you may believe he'll do going forward, and his performance has helped Cincinnati shoot out to a 6-0 start. If there's anyone who can challenge the Patriots in the AFC (or for the top spot in these power rankings), it looks like the Bengals.
ESPN still has a different view on the Bengals, ranking them fifth below the Patriots, Packers, Broncos and Cardinals. Are they actually watching the Bengals play or just spitting out random team names? The Cardinals just lost their second game of the season, to a Steelers team led by Landry Jones. Alright, then.
Here's a roundup of all the major current power rankings compared to last week.
|CBS Sports (Pete Prisco)||3||2||1|