26. Cincinnati Bengals (-1)
The Bengals got smothered by the Baltimore Ravens, but I think this loss goes down as a disappointment for the Bengals and not a huge win for the Ravens. Their spot in these power rankings is probably the best indication of the change in tiers from “might pick first” to “might be alright.”
I’m not breaking new ground saying that the offensive line is terrible, but it looks like the veteran leadership on the Bengals is eroding quickly. A.J. Green wants to be traded, Carlos Dunlap is getting pushed out of the starting lineup, and D.J. Reader is gone for the year.
I believe in Joe Burrow (and rookie year’s for QBs don’t tell us anything) but going forward this team is going to have much fewer assets than I thought they were going to six months ago.
25. Houston Texans (+1)
Congratulations on getting your first win of the season and an even bigger congratulations for getting rid of Bill O’Brien. Long term the outlook is bleak for the Texans and this wasn’t a good game by the centerpiece of their future, but a win is a win.
Now that the shot of adrenaline from getting a new interim HC is gone, will the Texans regress back to losing football against tougher competition? Or is this the start of their rise up these power rankings?