Saturday, September 18, 2021

Cincinnati Bengals Week 2 NFL Power Rankings Roundup

Throughout the 2021 NFL season, we will compile a consensus NFL Power Rankings that averages the rankings of all 32 NFL teams.

Here is where the Cincinnati Bengals rank in terms of average, best and worst:

  • Average ranking: 23.2 (23rd)
  • Best ranking: 20th (USA Today)
  • Worst ranking: 25th (CBS Sports)

Below you will find a Week 2 roundup for the Bengals in our consensus 2021 NFL Power Rankings.

ESPN -- Rank: 24

Top rookie: WR Ja'Marr Chase

Chase put his preseason drops behind him with a game-changing performance against the Vikings. He caught five passes for 101 yards, the most by a Bengals rookie in a season opener. Chase didn't drop a single target and showed how he can help the offense find bigger plays in the passing game. He beat his man down the right sideline and snagged a 50-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Joe Burrow right before halftime. It's that playmaking ability the Bengals wanted when they drafted Chase with the fifth overall pick in April. -- Ben Baby -- Rank: 23

After a summer dotted with foreboding news on multiple fronts, the Bengals opened their season with a feel-good home win over the Vikings that restores hope in Western Ohio. Joe Burrow played extremely well in his return from reconstructive knee surgery, while first-round pick Ja'Marr Chase reminded us that a thousand critical notebook ledes in July can evaporate with one productive afternoon in September. Then there's coach Zac Taylor, whose bold fourth-and-inches call in overtime led to the 32-yard C.J. Uzomah reception that set up the win. "Ballsy," Uzomah said of his coach's decision. "I have to say, that's some big cojones there by him." These Bengals could be fun!

CBS Sports -- Rank: 25

That was a big overtime victory over the Vikings for this young group. The fears about Joe Burrow are now alleviated after he played well in his first real game back from a torn ACL.

USA Today -- Rank: 20

And now we know why rookie Evan McPherson was the only kicker drafted in 2021, his game-winning FG in overtime following a 53-yarder in the fourth quarter. Icy.

The Athletic -- Rank: 24

Overreaction: No reason to worry about Ja'Marr Chase! His hands are fine! Don't we all look silly now for stressing about whether the No. 5 pick (and the first wide receiver selected) in this draft class could catch? Chase had five catches for 101 yards and a touchdown in his regular-season debut. -- Jones

Reality check: They did still give up five sacks, and Minnesota ranked 28th in sacks last season, so you still fear a little for Joe Burrow's life. Seeing him go 20-for-27 for 261 yards and zero turnovers is a promising return. -- Auman

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