A weekly examination of the Bengals' ESPN.com Power Ranking:
Preseason: 9 | Last Week: 7 | ESPN.com Power Ranking since 2002
The Cincinnati Bengals avoided a possible free fall in the ESPN.com Week 10 Power Rankings released Tuesday. Instead of dropping dramatically, they slipped only from seventh to eighth five days after losing at Miami 22-20 in overtime. The four-person voting panel agreed with most who cover the team: that while the loss wasn't good, for now, it wasn't a death knell on the season, either.
It will be interesting to track what impact injuries will have on the Bengals. With a pair of tough division games looming before a bye, one would have to imagine that wins will help them rise through the rankings, particularly given how beaten up they are. Then again, the injuries -- four players have been lost for the season since it began -- could eventually be held against them. It could be a question of, as well as the Bengals have fought through their ailments lately, how much will they be able to keep doing the same by season's end?
Cincinnati has already beaten three of the current top-10 teams and will face a fourth, No. 2 Indianapolis, later this season.