Tuesday, September 12, 2023

Cincinnati Bengals Week 2 NFL Power Rankings

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 2 roundup for the Cincinnati Bengals in our consensus 2023 NFL Power Rankings.

ESPN -- Rank: 13

Best debut performance: S Nick Scott
Week 1 stats: 11 tackles

Scott had a solid showing as the team's new free safety in an otherwise underwhelming loss to the Browns. He was around the ball often and had a 14.4% completion percentage allowed as the nearest defender. That's a good sign for a defensive group that is looking to replace safeties Jessie Bates III and Vonn Bell, who signed with other teams in free agency. -- Ben Baby

NFL.com -- Rank: 11

What to do with the Bengals? On the one hand, it's easy to write off Week 1's disaster performance based on history. The Browns delivered a similarly humbling loss to Cincinnati last Halloween and have had the Bengals' number defensively in recent meetings. Cincy also stunk in Week 1 last year, dropping a five-turnover clunker to Pittsburgh. Plus, Joe Burrow missed nearly all of training camp, which clearly hurt his and the offense's timing. The Browns certainly deserve defensive credit. But it's just hard to imagine Burrow's struggles lingering or the Bengals enduring another game where Tee Higgins has eight targets and zero catches. Yet, like a year ago, the offensive line fell flat in the opener. That's the one issue that worries me long term.

CBS Sports -- Rank: 13

What was that against the Browns? Joe Burrow looked lost. So much for the idea that he didn't need the preseason.

USA Today -- Rank: 9

Maybe it was the rain. Maybe it was waiting for QB Joe Burrow's calf and contract to come around. Maybe it's a Cleveland bugaboo, Cincinnati having dropped six of seven to their cross-state rivals. Certainly averaging 2.6 yards per play cemented the Bengals' demise. But let's give them a mulligan ... for now.

The Athletic -- Rank: 21

See, this is why Cincinnati never wanted to pay anybody. Three days after signing the richest contract in NFL history (five years, $275 million), Joe Burrow completed 14 passes for a career-low 82 yards. Joe Cool was 2-for-11 passing for 16 yards when the Browns blitzed him, according to TruMedia. The Bengals opened the game with seven straight punts.

FOX -- Rank: 6

Don't worry about the free fall in these rankings, Bengals fan. Your guys get another chance to make an impression this week against the Ravens. To be fair to them, they just might. We've seen the Bengals dig themselves out of 0-1 and 0-2 holes, so it's OK if you don't want to panic. But there's still plenty to criticize after one of the league's best offenses failed to score a single touchdown. Joe Burrow and the receivers will be fine, but Cinci's offensive line looked woefully unready to deal with Cleveland's pass rush.

Yahoo! -- Rank: 6

I can't imagine the Bengals offense will look that bad again this season. Credit the Browns defense for a great job preventing Cincinnati from hitting any big plays or getting either of their alpha receives going. Tee Higgins had a shocking zero catches on eight targets and Ja'Marr Chase had just 39 yards. It was just a strange game for the Bengals.

PFT -- Rank: 12

They'll get it together, eventually.

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