AFC North Power Rankings No. 3: Cincinnati Bengals (0-1)
The Cincinnati Bengals are two-time defending AFC North champs but start out in an 0-1 hole. This was the case in 2022 as well, with them actually getting off to a 0-2 start to the season with losses to the Pittsburgh Steelers and Dallas Cowboys. They then turned things around and lost just two more games all year.
Having said that, their losses in Weeks 1 and 2 last year were by a combined total of six points. They were defeated on a field goal in overtime to start the season and then Dallas won on a field goal to end the game. This year, they were handed a huge loss, with Cleveland winning by three touchdowns.
It was a statement win from the Browns, who continue to have Joe Burrow’s number. The passing attack was completely stifled with Ja’Marr Chase managing just 39 yards while Tee Higgins was shut out with Martin Emerson again making life tough on the team's No. 2 wideout.
Going forward, this won’t remain the case. Chase will get back on track and continue to talk his trash. Higgins will also surely get rolling and will do enough to earn a huge payday in the offseason — somewhere else that is. But for now, they’re at No. 3 in the division due to a bad loss to an AFC North rival.