3. Cincinnati Bengals (4-3)
Don't look now but the Cincinnati Bengals are starting to look like a contender again. The Bengals came out of their bye week and traveled to the west coast to take on the San Francisco 49ers.
Cincinnati took it to the favored 49ers forcing a three-and-out, and then immediately went on a 10-play touchdown scoring drive. From that point on, the Bengals forced San Francisco to skip to their Lou for the remainder of the afternoon. The 49ers were able to pull within seven points at various points in the contest, but the Bengals would immediately separate and put points on the board.
The biggest takeaway from the Bengals trip to San Francisco was the re-emergence of Joe Burrow. While the Bengals signal caller had been on a slight uptick in play the last couple of games, against the 49ers Burrow looked like his old self.
Burrow was standing in the pocket, staring down pressure, and stepping into his throws. There was no hesitancy, Burrow is once again processing at an elite level. But the biggest thing that tells you that Burrow is back was his willingness to tuck the ball and run for first downs. Now that comes with Burrow taking unnecessary shots at the end of those runs, but that is who he is and who Cincinnati needs him to be.
He finished the game going 28 of 32 for 283 yards and three touchdowns. Just as important Burrow pulled it down six times and ran for 43 yards and converting three first downs. If he's back to form, this is a dangerous Bengals team that needs to be taken very seriously. Now the Bengals welcome the Buffalo Bills to Paycor Stadium for a true AFC litmus test on Sunday Night Football.