Thursday, September 21, 2023

Cincinnati Bengals Week 3 NFL Power Rankings Roundup

Throughout the 2023 NFL season, we will compile a consensus NFL Power Rankings that averages the rankings of all 32 NFL teams.

Below you will find a Week 3 roundup for the Cincinnati Bengals in our consensus 2023 NFL Power Rankings.

ESPN -- Rank: 18

Player: WR Tee Higgins
Current contract situation: Under contract through the 2023 season

Higgins did not receive a long-term deal this offseason, and one seems to be unlikely. Cincinnati could be looking at giving Higgins a one-year franchise tag for 2024 and exploring its options. The tag is projected at $23 million according to The Bengals could pay that amount to keep Higgins for one more year or see if they can find a team willing to trade for a top receiver. Higgins has amassed more than 3,000 receiving yards in his first three seasons combined. -- Ben Baby -- Rank: 12

You'll be reminded multiple times this week that last year's Bengals started 0-2, too, and it's fair to look back. Heck, the 2021 team was 1-1 to start, with an overtime win over a so-so Vikings team and still made the Super Bowl. However, my panic meter is not insanely low because there are some unpleasant realities this team absolutely must address. The two supposed bedrocks entering the season were supposed to be the passing game and the front seven on defense. Both have severely underachieved. Joe Burrow's calf injury gives the offense some cover, but what is the defense's excuse? Failing to get off the field on several third-and-short plays will be the lasting memory of Sunday's loss to the Ravens.

CBS Sports -- Rank: 21

At 0-2, they have big problems. It doesn't help that Joe Burrow aggravated his injured calf. Can they respond from 0-2 like they did a year ago?

USA Today -- Rank: 17

Legitimate reasons for concern by Sunday night, Cincinnati's offense ranked last in the league and QB Joe Burrow's calf barking anew.

The Athletic -- Rank: 22

What's worse than Joe Burrow ranking 29th in the league in EPA per pass attempt (minus-.13)? Joe Burrow sitting on the sideline during the game using a muscle massager on his calf, which he "tweaked" late in the game. The Bengals' 212 yards per game rank last in the league. Cincinnati bucked the 0-2 start trend last season by making the playoffs despite a slow start, but that's a tough way to live.

FOX -- Rank:

I know exactly what's wrong with the Bengals, I'm just not sure how they fix it. You can call it a cheap excuse if you want to, but Joe Burrow still doesn't look right following that calf injury. Cincinnati's 424 total yards of offense in two weeks of play is evidence of that. The problem is that I'm not sure how much healthier Burrow's going to get as the Bengals seek to dig their way out of this hole.

Yahoo! -- Rank: 12

Of all the things we saw in Week 2, the inability of the Bengals to get much offense going again might have been the most surprising. Seeing Joe Burrow limping at the end of the game wasn't a good sign either. The Bengals are very talented and they have started slow before, but this seems dire.

PFT -- Rank: 21

Yes, they know how to overcome slow starts. The quarterback's nagging calf injury changes things.

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