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NFL Week 5 Power Ranking Roundup: Bengals finally getting deserved respect

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A game winning drive on the road later, and the Bengals are finally being viewed as contenders.

NFL: Cincinnati Bengals at Atlanta Falcons Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports

The Bengals are riding high off a 37-36 victory against the Falcons. They came from behind with a touchdown in the last 10 seconds of the game, marking just the second time in franchise history that the team had a touchdown in the final 10 seconds of a game to win.

It was an important win for Cincinnati to prove to the rest of the NFL and national media that these Bengals are capable of running with the big dogs.

Through the first month of play, the Bengals are 3-1, and more importantly are 2-1 on the road. The Bengals have seven more home games the rest of the season, which is great for their prospects of keeping this momentum going. They have had issues slowing down opponents at times, but they will be getting Vontaze Burfict back from suspension this week. He isn’t going to magically fix all their issues, but he will certainly try.

It seems like people are finally taking notice of the Bengals incredible start to the season.

Here are the NFL Week 5 Power Rankings for the Bengals:

ESPN: 8 (Last week: 14)

DB Jessie Bates, 288 snaps out of 290 (99.3 percent). The second-round pick out of Wake Forest ranks second on the team overall in snaps. He is the only player on the Bengals roster with at least 20 tackles and an interception this season. His 27 tackles rank second on the team. 7 (Last week: 15)

The Bengals are too high, you say? Ignore your initial reaction and think about what they accomplished Sunday: winning on the road, without Joe Mixon and with A.J. Green banged up, to climb to 3-1 despite having only played one game at home this season. Andy Dalton was fantastic in the waning moments of the win over Atlanta. More noticeable was the time Dalton had to show off his moxie. The offensive line used to be the Achilles’ heel of this football team. Yet, there was the O-line, stonewalling the Falcons’ “pass rush” late, keeping the quarterback clean when it mattered most.

SB Nation: 6 (Last week: 13)

The top of the AFC North is also looking strong as the Bengals notched a win over the Falcons in Atlanta. Andy Dalton came up clutch with only the second Bengals game-winning touchdown pass with less than 10 seconds remaining in franchise history.

Yahoo: 12 (Last week: 14)

Don’t forget the Bengals put up 37 points and got a big road win without Joe Mixon, who looked great to start this season. Giovani Bernard is one of the best backups in the league so there wasn’t much of a dropoff there, but having Mixon and Bernard will make one of the NFL’s surprising teams even better.

Bleacher Report: 11 (Last week: 13)

The Cincinnati Bengals entered Sunday’s action as one of the more perplexing teams in the NFL. Cincinnati’s record said the team was good, but last week’s setback at Carolina raised the question of just how good. The Bengals needed a statement win over a good team to demonstrate that they weren’t, for lack of a better term, paper tigers. They got it in Atlanta.

Washington Post: 6 (Last week: 10)

The Bengals found a way against the Falcons, and their Week 2 victory over the Ravens has them in early control of the AFC North. But the loss of TE Tyler Eifert thanks to his difficult-to-watch leg injury is a major setback for the Cincinnati offense.

Average Rank: 8.33