If I would have told you the Bengals would be 5-3 entering the bye week, pretty much any fan would have taken it during the offseason.
After all, this is a team that won six and seven games respectively over the last two seasons, and they’re well on their way to surpassing those.
But between the recent two-game losing streak and the near-meltdown against the Buccaneers, not everyone is as high on these Bengals as you’d expect for a team two games over .500 at the midway point.
Some of the latest power rankings actually had the Bengals fall slightly, but on average, they’re back on the rise as they get a much-needed bye week.
Here are this week’s power rankings:
The Bengals have given up at least 480 yards of offense in each of the past three games, and they are on pace to break the NFL record for most yards allowed in a season. They continue to say they need to fix the little details and focus on doing their own assignments, but in the past few weeks, they haven’t corrected the problem. That’s going to be an issue with the Saints coming to town in two weeks. -- Katherine Terrell
It’s hard to get too excited about beating the Buccaneers after blowing an 18-point lead in the fourth quarter and needing a last-second field goal to win despite being plus-4 in turnovers. But a win is a win, especially heading into the bye week.
The good news for the Cincinnati Bengals is that after dropping two straight, the team was able to wash off the stink from last week’s demolition in Kansas City with a last-second win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
The bad news for the Bengals is that it took a field goal as time expired to win the game. This was a contest the Bengals led 27-9 at halftime and 34-16 at the end of the third quarter.
Cincinnati will now head into the bye very much in the hunt in the AFC North, but Sunday’s second-half slide had Davenport questioning whether these Bengals are actually paper tigers.
The narrow victory over the Bucs ended a two-game losing skid and upped the Bengals’ record to 5-3 at the season’s halfway point, but it did little to enforce any belief that this is a team worthy of being trusted.
The Bengals survived a spell of FitzMagic to win an important rebound game. But they won’t go very far if they don’t fix that leaky defense.
It wasn’t pretty against the Bucs, especially on defense, but they found a way. They head to the bye in the playoff mix.
Average ranking: 12.7
Where do you think the Bengals should be ranked this week?