The Cincinnati Bengals demolished the Pittsburgh Steelers at home on Sunday, pushing their recording in the division to 3-1. It’s been a terrific showing in the AFC North as the Bengals are now a solid 7-4 and well in playoff position.
Led by a career-best game from Joe Mixon, the Bengals are finally starting to couple that elite running game with the strength of Joe Burrow and the passing game. It all started with the improvements on the offensive line.
You can’t forget the defensive, giving up just 10 points. With that in mind, the Bengals' showing helped bolster their claim as one of the best top-ten teams in the NFL. Do updated power rankings feel the same?
Let’s dive into them.
ESPN — No. 9 - Up from No. 13
Cincinnati went from one of the hottest teams in the AFC to one with big question marks again after an upset loss to the Jets and a blowout defeat delivered by the Browns. It was a legitimate wobble for a team with playoff aspirations. But after an off-week, Cincinnati has cobbled together back-to-back wins and seems to have found its early-season form again. Coach Zac Taylor recognizes exactly that: “We’ve kind of got that momentum back that we had earlier in the season that we knew we could have. We had that little stumble, but these guys have a ton of confidence.” — Ben Baby
CBS Sports — No. 10 - Up from No. 13
Two impressive victories in a row has the Bengals back on track. They are young and growing in confidence, which could be problematic for the rest of the division.
Yahoo! Sports — No. 10 - Up from No. 15
The Bengals have blown out the Steelers (twice) and Ravens, but have lost to the Jets, Bears and by 25 at home to the Browns. I don’t think the Bengals can make a playoff run because they can’t string together enough good games in a row, but the future is bright.
The Ringer — No. 12
NFL.com — No. 7 - Up from 15 (talk about a jump!)
Sunday felt like a changing-of-the-guard day in the AFC North. After years of Steelers dominance, it’s now the Bengals who have emerged as the more talented, more physical, more promising team. That was on clear display during the Bengals’ 41-10 win at celebratory Paul Brown Stadium, the second Cincinnati blowout of Pittsburgh this season in what feels like a role reversal with potential long-term legs. Joe Burrow had four incompletions across 24 attempts, Mike Hilton delivered the game-clinching pick-six to extend Cincy’s lead to 31-3 at halftime, and Joe Mixon’s big season continued with 165 rushing yards, the most ever for a Bengals back against the Steelers. Times, they are a changin’.
NBC Sports — No. 6
In a “changing of the guard” moment, the Bengals humiliated the Steelers on Sunday and now can truly set their sights on an AFC North title and a playoff berth. It’s a new day in The Jungle.
Sporting News — No. 10 - Up from No. 12
The Bengals have come out swinging as needed after their bye, with big wins over the Raiders and Steelers to re-establish themselves as the strong AFC upstart playoff contenders they were earlier in the season before the Jets and Browns losses. The Joes, Mixon and Burrow, are carrying the offense again and the defense also has been back up to the big-play task.
NY Post — No. 10 - up from No. 16
The Bengals beat the Steelers for the third straight time over 11 months and swept the season series for the first time since 2009. And in dominating fashion (41-10), no less. Joe Mixon rushed for a career-high 165 yards. Imagine how much nicer the record would look (and how many more entries would be alive in knockout pools) if the Bengals didn’t lose to the Jets on Halloween.