A weekly examination of the Bengals' ESPN.com Power Ranking:
Preseason: 9 | Last Week: 11 | ESPN.com Power Ranking since 2002
The Cincinnati Bengals are up three spots in the Week 6 ESPN.com Power Rankings, checking in at No. 8. The rise came after they outlasted the New England Patriots 13-6 Sunday. Previously undefeated, the Patriots entered the contest holding a No. 4 ranking. They slipped to sixth after the loss.
Cincinnati's eighth-place ranking is its second highest of the season. Following their win over the Packers in Week 3, the Bengals were No. 6. As in that game, defense played a key role in Sunday's victory. Defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer's unit completely shut down Tom Brady, holding the future Hall of Fame quarterback to just 166 yards passing. For the first time in 53 games, he also didn't complete a touchdown pass. He is the third Super Bowl-winning quarterback Cincinnati has beaten this season.
After coming in 15th on two of the six-person panel's ballots last week, the Bengals were ranked 10th or higher on all of them. Jamison Hensley gave them their lowest ranking at 10th. Kevin Seifert, Mike Sando and Dan Graziano all had them ranked eighth. This weekend's opponent, the Buffalo Bills, are ranked 23rd.