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NFL Power Ranking Roundup Week 9

The 1-5-1 Bengals downed the 5-1 Titans on Sunday, boosting their spot in national power rankings.

NFL: Tennessee Titans at Cincinnati Bengals Joseph Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports

It was glorious. The first signature win of the Zac Taylor era happened this past Sunday as the Tennessee Titans were manhandled by the Cincinnati Bengals. Up 31-14 at one point, the Bengals ended the game with a 31-20 lead.

Burrow led the charge in what was arguably his most complete game yet. He ended with 249 yards and two touchdowns. The biggest deal in that Burrow didn’t turn the ball over. The Bengals haven’t lost when Burrow has been free of turnovers.

Now 2-5-1, the Bengals, with a bit better execution on both sides of the ball, could be 6-1-1 as four of their losses have been by one score. To take that next step, Cincinnati must start to pull out some of those hard-fought battles.

That said, let’s dive into how the national media viewed the Bengals in respect to their peers after Week 8.

ESPN.com — 25th

Let’s not overthink things here. Burrow has been remarkably impressive as a rookie and lived up to the hype, which is saying something considering he was the top overall pick in the 2020 NFL draft. Heading into the final games of Week 8, Burrow ranked second in completion rate above expectation at plus-5.7%, according to NFL Next Gen Stats, which trails only Seattle’s Russell Wilson. It’s also a considerable accomplishment given how often he is throwing the ball: Burrow leads the league in pass attempts and completions and is third in total yards. He is building a strong case to be the NFL’s Rookie of the Year. — Ben Baby

CBS Sports — 25th

That was an impressive victory against the Titans, which shows where this team is headed. Watch out next year.

Yahoo! Sports — 19th

It was a nice win against the Titans on Sunday, and a big one for Zac Taylor. No matter how good Joe Burrow might look in Taylor’s offense this season, Taylor was 3-19-1 coming into Sunday’s game and that’s not generally the type of record that leads to a third season.

Sports Illustrated — 21st

The Bengals cruise into their bye week with a statement win for rookie Joe Burrow. They’ve had to play musical chairs on the offensive line due to injuries, but the No. 1 overall pick made the offense work and got out of this win without being sacked.

The Ringer — 25th

Peter King’s Football Morning in America — 20th

You’ve got a bunch of vets who don’t want to be in Cincinnati—surprise!—but anyone who does choose to hang around is going to be in for one wild ride. Joe Burrow, on pace for a 4,544-yard rookie passing season, has put up 30 or more points in four of eight games, and he’s scared of nothing. I’m actually optimistic about the Bengals if they could just build a respectable defense and not make it so good players and citizens like Carlos Dunlap want out so often.

Washington Post — 21st

The Bengals are making meaningful progress in Joe Burrow’s rookie season at QB. The triumph over the Titans underscored that. But it was occurring even before that surprising victory.

USA Today — 23rd

Please, NFL, relax your alternate helmet rules and allow Cincinnati to wear white ones with their alternate white tiger look.

NBC Sports — 21st

Joe Burrow and the Bengals impressed on Sunday with a 31-20 upset victory over the Titans. The No. 1 overall pick threw for 249 yards and two touchdowns in the win, and Cincinnati’s defense did a nice job of keeping Ryan Tannehill from making any big plays. Burrow and Co. have a bye in Week 9, then a tough matchup vs. Pittsburgh.