The Bengals were able to end their two-game losing streak with a 22-7 win over the Dolphins last week.
Though it was an ugly game in which Cincinnati struggled to get into the end zone, it was a win nonetheless, which led to a slight boost in the NFL Power Rankings heading into Week 5.
Over at CBS Sports, Cincinnati rose two spots, though they still aren’t even inside the top 12, the number of teams that make it to the playoffs.
13. Cincinnati Bengals
Week 4 ranking: No. 15
They have a tough game this week at Dallas, but they are getting healthy. They could have Tyler Eifert back this week.
NFL.com bumped the Bengals up to the No. 9 spot, despite questions of how impressive last week really was over a Dolphins team that may be among the NFL’s worst.
9. Cincinnati Bengals
Week 4 ranking: No. 14
Impressive victory -- or do the Dolphins really just suck? Questions, questions ... we've got answers. The Bengals are a slightly-above-middling football team right now, the kind that loses on Wild Card Weekend. From what I've seen thus far, the secondary has been the biggest problem, after performing quite well last season. (How much do Cincy fans miss Reggie Nelson, or does he have nothing to do with it?)
The run game is awfully inconsistent, but should get better when tight end Tyler Eifert gets back in the fold -- not because Eifert is an overpowering inline blocker, but rather his presence means opposing box defenders must guard against his slipping into the middle of the field. One more thing to think about -- and often, one less foe creeping toward the line.
ESPN has the Bengals back in at the top 10 while offering a nice little nugget on All-Pro receiver A.J. Green.
10. Cincinnati Bengals
Week 4 ranking: No. 13
468: A.J. Green is somehow getting better. He has caught 76 percent of his targets this season and his 32 receptions and 468 receiving yards are his most through four games. He does have two drops though, so he is technically human.
Yahoo Sports bumped up the Bengals just one spot, but that was enough to get back into the top 10.
10. Cincinnati Bengals (2-2, Last Week: 11)
All offseason we talked about how the Bengals lost Marvin Jones and Mohamed Sanu (who have both played well with their new teams) and how they’d be without injured tight end Tyler Eifert. Andy Dalton is still averaging 308.5 yards per game with a sterling 8.5 yards per attempt. It’s hard to go completely under the radar as an NFL quarterback, but Dalton does it.
SB Nation has the Bengals coming in at No. 6 this week, a two-spot increase from last week. That same ranking has Cincinnati ahead of Pittsburgh (7), Green Bay (9), Carolina (15), and Arizona (20), four times who were ranked ahead of the Bengals in nearly every preseason power ranking.
Finally, USA Today only gave the Bengals a one-spot increase this week, but did note the impact that Vontaze Burfict has made in just one game, albeit a small sample size.
13. Cincinnati Bengals
Last Week: 14
Average points allowed without Vontaze Burfict: 25; with him: 7. Average yards allowed without Vontaze Burfict: 356.3; with him: 222.
The Bengals had an average ranking of 10.2 this week, barely putting them inside the top 10. That’s where they belong as long as Vontaze Burfict and Tyler Eifert are playing, which is the expectation this week in Dallas.
As for their next opponent, several of the power rankings have the Cowboys ahead of the Bengals, but overall, both teams are right in line with each other.
The lowest ranking Dallas got was No. 15 from USA Today. They received two No. 8 rankings (ESPN and CBS), but still ended up with a 10.5 average ranking, putting them just decimal points behind Cincinnati.
In other words, this should be a very competitive matchup in Week 5, possibly even the best of any game.