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NFL Power Rankings 2015: Week 1 Roundup Edition

The Bengals are coming in at No. 11 in a lot of NFL power rankings.

Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images

The 2015 NFL regular season opens this Thursday when the New England Patriots host the Pittsburgh Steelers.

That means it's time for a roundup of the latest power rankings around the internet to get a better feel for where all 32 teams stand as the new season opens. Coming in at the No. 1 spot in ESPN's latest rankings were the Seattle Seahawks. After making two straight Super Bowls, Seattle is one of the big favorites to make it to Super 50 this season.

As for who they'd face, we could be looking at a Super Bowl 49 rematch based on ESPN's rankings, which have the Patriots coming in at No. 2. New England won it all last year after intercepting Russell Wilson at the goal line in the Super Bowl to win their fourth Lombardi Trophy of the Bill Belichick/Tom Brady era.

Coming in just behind them at No. 3 are the Green Bay Packers. Many had Green Bay ranked No. 1 or 2 in their preseason rankings before Jordy Nelson suffered a torn ACL in the preseason. As good as Green Bay is, losing Jordy is enough to knock the Packers down a spot or two.

That top-five order is exactly how Yahoo Sports' Shutdown Corner starts of of their latest rankings. The differences begin between the two with ESPN having the Dallas Cowboys coming in at No. 6, while Yahoo has the Baltimore Ravens at the sixth spot.

As for the Cincinnati Bengals, they came in at No. 11 on ESPN, and here's what ESPN NFL analyst Mike Sando offered up on the boys in stripes:

The Bengals have made the playoffs in each of Andy Dalton's four seasons -- but clearly require some changes: one, a more run-oriented attack that OC Hue Jackson began implementing last season. Expect the Bengals to lean heavily on RB Jeremy Hill, who rushed for 1,124 yards on just 222 carries in 2014. And two: returning their defense to the snarling, physical style that Marvin Lewis believes is needed to compete in the AFC North. Cincy dropped from second to 15th in defensive EPA last season, so it's betting big on a healthier Vontaze Burfict and newly re-signed DE Michael Johnson to turn around the unit. -- Mike Sando

Cincinnati came in at No. 11 as well on Yahoo with the following offered up:

Not to make excuses for Andy Dalton, but losing Tyler Eifert and Marvin Jones for practically all of 2014 played into last season's struggles. Let's see what Dalton does with all his weapons back.

The Bengals have consistently ranked in the 8-12 range in most preseason rankings this offseason, so 11 seems fair. I'm still not understanding though how the Ravens keep coming in ahead of the Bengals. Looking at both of their offseasons, you'd be hard-pressed to not say Cincinnati didn't have the better offseason after sweeping Baltimore last year, but we digress. And hey, the season hasn't even started yet.

At, they too have the Bengals at No. 11, but rightfully ahead of the Ravens at No. 14.

The Bengals have been one of the steadiest teams in football in recent years, but that isn't necessarily a wonderful thing. After the brutal run in the '90s, making the playoffs five of six years is obviously a massive step up. Yet, at some point, either Andy Dalton (who looked good in two preseason games, notsomuch in another) has to take the next step or the defense will have to carry this team. Or maybe Cincy can ride a 1,500-yard Jeremy Hill campaign to an 11-win season.

That same ranking has the Kansas City Chiefs at No. 7 ahead of teams like the Denver Broncos...

Needless to say, there are going to be a lot of swings and misses in any kind of rankings that are done before actual regular-season games are played. And if you didn't realize, power rankings don't actually determine anything on the field.

CBS (Pete Prisco)
Yahoo! Sports
SB Nation
Fox Sports