In the NFL, it’s hard for a tie to not feel like a loss, which is why it’s a bit surprising to see the Bengals rising in the latest round of NFL power rankings.
Thanks a to a 27-27 draw with Washington, Cincinnati mainly stayed ranked where they were last week in every major ranking. Among them is Yahoo Sports, where Cincinnati comes in at No. 17 for the second-straight week while also pointing out the impact of Tyler Eifert now being healthy.
Tyler Eifert is back. He had 102 yards and a touchdown on nine catches Sunday. He’ll take some pressure off A.J. Green.
USA Today Sports also has the Bengals standing pat at No. 15, but it’s getting to the point where Cincinnati needs to start stringing some wins together.
Given their talent, dearth of key injuries and manageable second-half schedule, there just aren't any excuses to make for this team.
ESPN also kept the Bengals at the same spot heading into Week 9, which ends up being one of the higher rankings Cincinnati gets at No. 13.
QB Andy Dalton has now started two tie games in his NFL career. That fact might sum up the Andy Dalton experience, as the Bengals have slipped in the standings since Week 1. No. 13 might be generous, though, as Cincinnati's wins have come against the Jets (No. 27 in Power Rankings), Dolphins (No. 28) and Browns (No. 32).
NFL.com also kept the Bengals at the same spot, which ends up being their lowest Week 9 ranking at No. 19.
At least the London game was exciting. Not as excited: the peanut gallery on Twitter, and, presumably, Bengals fans, after watching Andy Dalton misfire, take sacks and shake his head at his own performance for 75 minutes. Caught the end of this one at the studios with Akbar Gbajabiamila, Daniel Jeremiah and Steve Mariucci. Mooch noticed that Dalton missed an open receiver on an important sack he took in the fourth quarter. We all took notice of the third-down play call when, with the Bengals at the Redskins' 40 on the first drive of overtime, Dalton took another sack. Why not a safe throw to set up a field goal ... like a bubble screen? Oh, then there was the fumble. Alright, I am not going to tie up your time any further reliving this game.
SB Nation actually gave the Bengals a bump up the rankings to No. 12, a three-spot rise from last week. CBS Sports also bumped the Bengals up three spots to No. 15 this week, though it came with some well-deserved criticism of the defense.
Their defense, which had been a team strength, just isn't good right now. Kirk Cousins carved it to shreds.
All in all, the Bengals received an average ranking of 15.2, which is up from the 16.2 ranking they got in Week 8. That ranking could take another small bump up in various rankings next week with the Bengals being on their bye in Week 9, but it could also take a dip in some rankings. For the most part, it will probably stay the same, which is usually what happens to teams on their bye weeks.
Looking at the rest of the AFC North, the Steelers managed to rise in most of the rankings this week, despite being on a bye. They now have an average ranking of 9.2, a full six spots ahead of the Bengals.
But while the Steelers rose while on their bye week, the Ravens managed to fall while on theirs. Baltimore now sports an average ranking of 23.3, eight spots behind the Bengals, not to mention a 14-spot difference with the Steelers. Those two teams will face off in Week 9, so we should see if there is really that much difference between the two division rivals on Sunday afternoon.
The Browns are 0-8 and remain the NFL’s worst team, not to mention having the NFL’s worst average ranking of 31.8. Shocking. This week, the Browns received one ranking as the 31st “best” team in the league, after coming in at 32 exclusively for the past few weeks.