The Cincinnati Bengals went 1-3 through the first four weeks of the season.
It wasn’t just that they lost three games, but it was the how. They lost two by 20-plus points and two to divisional foes as well. The Bengals also just didn’t look like themselves.
That changed in their Week 5 win over the Arizona Cardinals. While it came with some bumps, the Bengals put together a solid performance on both sides of the ball and ended up winning 34-20.
The Bengals will get the Seahawks at home in Week 6 with the potential to go .500. That said, let’s dive into where national media ranks Cincinnati after its second win of the season.
Pro Football Network - No. 19 - Up from No. 22
The Ja’Marr Chase breakout game is never too far away. He broke a franchise record with 15 receptions against Arizona, and the elite receiver amassed just shy of 200 yards while adding three touchdowns. Once they secured the lead, the Bengals’ schematic excellence on defense made things incredibly difficult for Josh Dobbs, and their talented pass rush made their mark as well. Joe Burrow is still not his normal self. He still can’t move well, but he did find some explosiveness in his arm for the first time in 2023.
Touchdown Wire - No. 13
Sportsnaut - No. 11 - Up from No. 16
Joe Burrow still wasn’t 100 percent on Sunday, but he looked far closer to it than any other time this season. Keep in mind that Arizona’s defense (5-3 TD-INT ratio allowed entering Week 5) has done a respectable job until now. Cincinnati desperately needed this win, but we’ll hold off on overreacting until we see the Bengals against the Seahawks (Week 6), 49ers (Oct. 29) and Bills (Nov. 5).
Sporting News - No. 17 - Up from No. 24
The Bengals saw the real mostly healthy Joe Burrow in Arizona and made a world of defense for their pass-heavy offense. Their defense also rose to the occasion with big plays. Those are the Bengals we know, and they are right back in the thick of a tight AFC North race.
AZ Central - No. 20 - Up from No. 24
Beat Cardinals, 34-20, to improve to 2-3. Joe Burrow now has five touchdown passes, three interceptions and a 62.4% completion percentage. He has thrown for 1,045 yards.
ClutchPoints - No. 19 - Up from No. 26
While not on a winning streak yet, the Cincinnati Bengals have shown that they are starting to somewhat put things together – and that starts with the health of Joe Burrow. A three-touchdown day for Ja’Marr Chase shows that he is back and ready to help this team win, and if Burrow’s health continues to bounce back after every game, which is what it looks like happened after their win over the Cardinals, then this team could be very close to hitting its stride.