As most can expect, the Bengals didn’t go climbing any power rankings this week (although they did move up one spot in a power ranking after last week).
Whatever positive outlook any of the national media had on Cincinnati after their Week 1 performance with Seattle has been lost. They just keep finding new ways to lose games over three weeks.
It does seem to be interesting that they have avoided falling below a certain threshold. That shows that most of the National media thinks they are a bad team right now, but they aren’t the worst team (thanks Dolphins!).
NFL Power Rankings Week 4
We’ll give the Bengals some credit: They were badly outplayed in the first half against the Bills and were fortunate to be down just 14-0 at the half. But instead of packing it in, Cincinnati battled back in a tough road environment, reeling off 17 unanswered points to take the lead with five minutes to play. That’s when Zac Taylor’s defense needed to understand the gravity of the moment and lock down a vital first victory. Said gravity was not sensed. The unit allowed Bills QB Josh Allen to march down the field 78 yards on seven plays for the go-ahead touchdown. On the ensuing possession, Andy Dalton fired high with his team in striking distance, the deflected pass intercepted by Buffalo’s Tre’Davious White to seal the loss. The Bengals didn’t execute when it mattered most, and their season is slipping away because of it.
What we got wrong: Given how Joe Mixon ended 2018 as the AFC’s leading rusher, many speculated he would flourish in new coach Zac Taylor’s offensive system. That hasn’t happened through three games. Mixon didn’t have a carry of 10 or more yards until Week 3. Granted, some of that had to do with Mixon’s ankle injury in Week 1 and a blowout loss in Week 2. But Mixon hasn’t been as productive as people expected.
They showed some fight coming back from 14-0 down at Buffalo. But they have major issues up front on offense, which limits what they can do on that side of the ball.
Zac Taylor’s 0-3 start doesn’t mean he can’t coach. But it does reinforce that everyone should have appreciated what Marvin Lewis accomplished in Cincinnati for all of those years that he got the Bengals into the playoffs, even if he couldn’t manage a postseason victory.
Cincinnati has lost two very close road games. There have been some positive signs, but it’s still an 0-3 start with rookie head coach Zac Taylor. He has a challenge not letting his team get discouraged.
In fairness, their three foes have also been collective 8-1. But if Zac Taylor loses his mind against winless Steelers or Cards ... uh oh.
It is hard to argue with any of the points brought up here. When a team is 0-3, regardless of how they got there, odds are their season already has one foot off the edge. Bengals fans are probably more concerned with the Bengals finally getting a win rather than there standings in the power rankings, but Cincinnati probably has to have a run of a few wins before they are considered to even be a middle of the road team.