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2021 NFL Power Rankings: Cincinnati Bengals

Throughout the 2021 NFL season, we will compile a consensus NFL Power Rankings that averages the rankings of all 32 NFL teams.

Here is where the Cincinnati Bengals rank in terms of average, best and worst:

Below you will find a Week 5 roundup for the Bengals in our consensus 2021 NFL Power Rankings.

ESPN -- Rank: 16

Biggest surprise: The Bengals' strong defense

Why it's a surprise: The Bengals have struggled to field a quality defense in coordinator Lou Anarumo's first two seasons. However, this year the Bengals are among the best in the NFL through the first four games. Cincinnati ranks fifth in yards per play allowed and seventh in points per drive allowed. Granted, the opposing offenses haven't been great, but the improvement in Anarumo's unit has been very notable. Defensive end Trey Hendrickson, who signed a $60 million deal with the team in the offseason, is second in the NFL in pass rush first pressures, according to ESPN Stats & Information. -- Ben Baby

NFL.com -- Rank: 15

The Bengals have a share of first place in the AFC North, and Joe Burrow very much looks like The Franchise. The second-year quarterback picked apart the Jaguars in a 24-21 win, showing poise and presence as he led the Bengals to four consecutive scoring drives in the second half of a comeback victory. Burrow is averaging 9.2 yards per attempt (third in the NFL among qualified passers), and he's getting much better protection: Cincinnati has allowed just one sack in the past two weeks after surrendering 10 in the season's first two games. If the Bengals keep their young star upright, something special could be brewing in the Queen City.

CBS Sports -- Rank: 13

Is their 3-1 record legitimate? They are improved, but we will know how much improved this week against the Packers at home.

USA Today -- Rank: 14

Looks who's atop the AFC North. They might even stay there for a minute if QB Joe Burrow continues to blossom in the aftermath of his 2020 knee injury.

The Athletic -- Rank: 16

After they were shut out by the Jaguars in the first half, Joe Burrow and the Bengals scored 24 points on their four second-half possessions. Burrow has played like a top-10 quarterback through the first four games and it's reasonable for Bengals fans to hope he can get even better the further removed he is from last year's injury.

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