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NFL Power Ranking Roundup Week 3: Bengals viewed as contenders after Thursday night’s win

The Bengals have started 2-0, and now they have gotten the attention of power rankings every where.

Cincinnati Bengals v Indianapolis Colts Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images

The Bengals are the only 2-0 team in the AFC North after they beat the Ravens on Thursday Night Football. It was a game that Cincinnati probably should’ve handled a lot easier given their 28-7 lead at one point, but they pulled out a victory against a divisional rival in primetime.

That performance has accounted for a lot of recognition from the national media this week. Usually the Bengals have been left just outside of the contenders spots waiting for a big win to push them over. This season it seems that big win came early as the Bengals are pretty high up in the most of the Week 3 NFL Power Rankings.

Here’s how the Bengals rank in the Week 3 Power Rankings:

ESPN: 13 (23 last week)

For the first time in franchise history, the Bengals scored at least 30 points in each of their first two games of a season. This is a far cry from the slow start the Bengals got off to last year, when they managed a total of nine points during an 0-2 beginning and didn’t score a touchdown until their third game 13 (21)

This move upward was maybe not as high as Bengals fans were anticipating. Unfortunately, the Joe Mixon injury looms large, especially at this juncture, when Cincy has the opportunity to take command of the AFC North. He is supposed to be out two to four weeks, but the Bengals should be conservative regarding that timetable. Meanwhile, the defense has not been as strong as the WhoDey peeps said it would be, but it definitely has been clutch. Nice win.

SB Nation: 8 (14)

One of the Bengals’ biggest issues in 2017 was an inability to force turnovers on defense. That problem has been eliminated (so far) as the Bengals rank third in the NFL in turnover differential (+3) with five takeaways through Week 2. Andy Dalton is playing some of his best football and Cincinnati is 2-0 because of it.

Washington Post: 4 (8)

The Bengals’ start is oh-so-promising, and they’ve made an early-season case that they’re the team to beat in the AFC North. But now they must get by without RB Joe Mixon, who’s sidelined for an estimated two weeks after knee surgery.

Bleacher Report: 10 (16)

There’s good news and bad news for the Cincinnati Bengals. The good news is that after throttling the Baltimore Ravens early and holding on late, the Bengals are 2-0 and in first place all by themselves in the AFC North. The last time that was the case was 2015—which just so happens to be the last time Cincinnati made the playoffs. The bad news is that the Bengals now begin a murderous stretch on their schedule without second-year tailback Joe Mixon, who will miss at least two weeks after having his knee scoped.

CBS Sports: 8 (14)

At 2-0, they are alone in first place in the division. They are starting to look like a playoff contender.

Average Bengals Power Ranking spot: 9.33

What do you think about the Bengals’ rankings after Week 2 and heading into a Week 3 game against the Panthers?