The Cincinnati Bengals continue to fall down the NFL Power Rankings.
Sadly, after just two games, the Bengals are getting near the bottom of most rankings, somewhere they have rarely been in the Marvin Lewis era. Even in Lewis’ worst years, he managed to keep the Bengals respectable enough to avoid being near the bottom of any ranking.
But after home losses to the Houston Texans and Baltimore Ravens — two of the Bengals’ most winnable games this year — it’s hard to see them rising from the bottom unless they win this week against the Green Bay Packers, which is far easier said than done.
ESPN dropped the Bengals down three spots following their 13-9 loss to the Texans, but wonders if firing Ken Zampese could kickstart this offense.
28. Cincinnati Bengals
2017 record: 0-2
Week 2 ranking: No. 25
The Bills fired their offensive coordinator following an 0-2 start last season and then averaged 31.0 PPG in their next four games (all wins). The firing of offensive coordinator Ken Zampese could kick-start Cincinnati's offense in a similar fashion.
NFL.com has Cincinnati down at No. 30 heading into Week 3, which includes an interesting Andy Dalton-David Klingler theory.
Will the real Andy Dalton come forward? I keep waiting for him to pull a mask off and reveal David Klingler, whining, "I would've gotten away with it, too, if it weren't for you meddling kids!" In two weeks of the regular season -- less than that, really -- fans want Marvin Lewis fired, Andy Dalton benched and ... more inane overreaction. Actually, the Bengals already contributed: Offensive coordinator Ken Zampese was canned Friday.
CBS awarded the No. 27 spot to Cincinnati.
It's now eight quarters being shutout (of the end zone). Do they really think a change in coordinators will matter? The line stinks.
That was the same ranking Cincinnati got from Yahoo Sports.
I don’t really know why there’s a thought that AJ McCarron would be a significant upgrade over Andy Dalton. It won’t fix the offensive line, and McCarron would just be a new quarterback for Bengals fans to complain about.
The worst ranking Cincinnati got was from SB Nation’s hope rankings, which has the Bengals down at No. 32, just barely edging the 49ers for the worst spot.
Cincinnati Bengals and San Francisco 49ers
This is a two-for-one special because the Bengals and 49ers were lucky enough to join the 2016 Rams as the only three teams in the last 10 years to get through two games of regular season play without scoring a touchdown.
The Rams finished No. 32 in both scoring and offensive yards last year, but there can only be one champion of offensive futility in 2017 and there are two early frontrunners battling neck and neck.
One is reportedly close to benching Andy Dalton and the other doesn’t really have an option after Brian Hoyer. Tune in next week to see if either can join the 1976 Buccaneers as the only teams in the Super Bowl era to go three weeks without a touchdown.
Losing at home to the Ravens and to the Texans is bad, but the schedule still offers a wealth of winnable games for the Bengals. As bad as the Bengals played, if they simply cut down on the mistakes and get the offense going, there are a host of winnable games coming up.
Then they’ve got games versus the Cleveland Browns, Chicago Bears, Indianapolis Colts, Buffalo Bills, Jacksonville Jaguars and Detroit Lions. None of those teams look overly better than the Ravens or Texans, and six of those games are at Paul Brown Stadium.
Sure, it’s hard to see the Bengals winning games at the moment, but if the offense can just find some rhythm, they could have won their first two games, so having a fun season the rest of the way is possible.