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NFL Power Rankings Roundup: Bengals start near bottom of the league

Nowhere to go but up, hopefully.

Cincinnati Bengals v Washington Redskins Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images

The first round of power rankings were not kind to the Cincinnati Bengals.

A nice 1-1 start to the preseason, the Bengals have had some encouraging flashes throughout both games. That said, it hasn’t mattered much to analysts because they’re projecting Cincinnati to be one of the worst teams in the league this season.

However, it’s difficult to argue with them.

An unproven head coach, an injury-prone star receiver and tight end and a lacking offensive line does not seem promising. But, an All-Pro-caliber running back, a versatile receiver and an improved defense should radiate some hope.

The Bengals may not be great, but they’re be far from the league’s worst team, even with a new head coach in Zac Taylor. If A.J. Green and Tyler Eifert stay healthy and the offensive line holds up, this team will at least be competitive in the AFC North.

That being said, here are this week’s power rankings from some major media outlets (more will come when the season actually commences). 30

The Bengals are without both A.J. Green (ankle) and John Ross (hamstring), but that hasn’t stopped fourth-round rookie quarterback Ryan Finley from putting a chokehold on the backup job behind Andy Dalton. Finley has completed 75 percent of his attempts with three touchdowns and one interception thus far. Andy Dalton is in no danger of losing his grip on the starting gig, but the departure of coach Marvin Lewis after 16 seasons creates the feeling of a fresh start in Cincinnati. If Zac Taylor isn’t in love with what he sees from Dalton this season, could another big organizational change be on the way in 2020?

Bleacher Report: 32

The Cincinnati Bengals defense might have bounced back a tad from an atrocious preseason opener in a “victory” Thursday over the Washington Redskins, but the first-team offense struggled mightily, and quarterback Andy Dalton performed terribly.

As a result, all three analysts continue to list Cincinnati dead last in their respective power rankings.

ESPN: 28

Why his (Andy Dalton) seat is warm: The seat may not be piping hot, but Dalton is under a decent amount of pressure to perform well this season. Dalton is looking to recover from an injury-shortened 2018 and show the Bengals he still has enough in the tank to be the franchise’s quarterback. He’s currently on a team-friendly deal that runs until 2021.

Average rank: 30