The Bengals had a rough outing against the Panthers. It was worse because it seemed like the Bengals were capable of winning the game, but there were far too many areas where Cincinnati failed to step up.
Whether it was the defense allowing 230 yards rushing and failing to force a turnover, or the Bengals offense giving the ball up four times, it just never came together for Cincinnati on Sunday.
The good news is this hasn’t seemed to deter the confidence that power rankers have found in the Bengals. Last week, Cincinnati averaged out to be a top 10 team. Only one ranking still has them in the top 10, but they still remain a stone throw away from getting back in.
The Bengals have a game on Sunday in Atlanta against the 1-2 Falcons. They may be at the bottom of the NFC South, but all of their games have been extremely close. A win against them could show that they are more of what we saw in Weeks 1 and 2 instead of Week 3.
Here are the power rankings for Week 4:
The Bengals have yet to get any production from 2017 first-round pick WR John Ross. Dalton is 5-for-13 targeting Ross this season for 27 yards, a TD and two interceptions.
The Bengals lost to the Panthers by 10 points in a game in which they were missing starters Joe Mixon, Michael Johnson, Preston Brown, Billy Price, and Vontaze Burfict. Then, A.J. Green was lost in the second half due to a groin injury. Hope shouldn’t be lost in Cincinnati just yet.
The Bengals’ positive start to the season fizzled Sunday at Carolina. The run defense fell apart and the offense became too pass-reliant. They’re in a tough stretch of the schedule, with another difficult road game this Sunday at Atlanta.
The Cincinnati Bengals may have lost the battle and the war in Week 3. The Bengals suffered their first loss of the young season in Charlotte, falling to the Panthers in a game in which Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton threw four interceptions. You just can’t do that and win in the NFL—ever. Sunday marked the first of four games in five weeks for the Bengals against playoff teams from last year. The first test of just how good these Bengals are. They failed it.
The Bengals are not on the decline per se, but this is not the same team without injured RB Joe Mixon to balance the offense and provide a gassed defense with time to refuel. Sans Mixon, Cincy folded its tent on the ground game against Carolina, becoming one-dimensional and, ultimately, four-interceptional. Yes, I know that is not a word. Neither is Gio-Bernard-is-not-a-lead-back-ional (although he made some nice plays). Tyler Boyd enjoyed a nice day (six catches for 132 yards and a score), especially with A.J. Green departing early thanks to a groin injury. Of course, the second part of that sentence was the truly relevant part.
Average rank: 13