The Cincinnati Bengals again found themselves down double figures at home in the first half.
Last week, it was against the Chargers, a game they eventually came back from, trailing 24-22 with the ball. They lost that game. Staying at Paul Brown Stadium, the Bengals took the field to play the 6-6 San Francisco 49ers.
The Bengals made a great comeback yet again and even forced overtime. They kicked a field goal and went up three in OT, allowing the 49ers one possession. The Niners marched down the field and scored a touchdown, making the Bengals 7-6.
With that in mind, let’s dive into where the team now stands according to national media’s power rankings.
ESPN.com — No. 14- Down from No. 11
This confirms Cincinnati’s offense as the team’s worst overall unit. The Bengals have struggled to either start games well, maintain a level of consistency or a combination of both. Cincinnati’s offensive line ranks next to last in pass block win rate, according to NFL Next Gen, and the Bengals often seem caught between establishing the zone running scheme and airing it out with quarterback Joe Burrow. The defense has been very solid under third-year coordinator Lou Anarumo, and Darrin Simmons’ special teams have been pretty strong, with the exception of two muffed punt returns in Sunday’s loss to the 49ers. — Ben Baby
NFL.com — No. 14 - Down from No. 11
The Bengals have graduated from league doormat to a fun team with potential. But the next step? The one where they become a consistent winner? That continues to elude Zac Taylor’s group. Cincinnati roared back from a 14-point second-half deficit to force overtime, then grabbed a 3-point lead in the extra period, only to watch the defense falter in a painful 26-23 loss to the 49ers. After the game, Taylor was left to answer questions as to why he got conservative with his play-calling once Joe Burrow and the passing game stormed into field-goal range in OT. Ja’Marr Chase offered a telling answer when asked the same question: “Shoot,” he said. “Good question, man. Good question.”
CBS Sports — No. 12 - Same as last week
They’ve lost two straight and haven’t looked as crisp as in some earlier games. They still can win the division, but it has to start this week.
USA Today — No. 13 - Down from No. 12
WR Ja’Marr Chase’s early season pace has slowed, but he’s still only the fifth rookie since the 1970 AFL-NFL merger with at least 1,000 receiving yards and 10 touchdown grabs.
Yahoo! Sports — No. 15 - Down from No. 13
The Bengals showed a lot of moxie to tie Sunday’s game against the 49ers. Joe Burrow was great late in the fourth quarter. And that’s all well and good, but they ultimately lost and with a game on deck at the Broncos, they’re in danger of falling behind in a tough AFC playoff race.
The Ringer — No. 16
Sporting News — No. 14 - Down from No. 12
The Bengals played a fun thriller with the 49ers and couldn’t come up with the necessary points in overtime. Hanging with one of the better all-around NFC teams was a confidence-builder; now they need to use it to win enough AFC games to make the playoffs.
NBC Sports — No. 16
Zac Taylor needs to be brought up on charges for coaching malpractice after Sunday’s loss to the 49ers.
The Lines — No. 14
Joe Burrow went 11-for-15 for 210 yards and 2 TDs to his favorite teammate, Ja’Marr Chase, in the fourth quarter alone to force OT against San Francisco. But the Bengals are 2-4 since their signature win in Baltimore and face a tough schedule the rest of the way.