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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 9 roundup for the Bengals in our consensus 2021 NFL Power Rankings.

ESPN -- Rank: 9

Biggest Achilles' heel: Offensive inconsistency

Cincinnati's boom-or-bust offense is a problem. The Bengals rank 31st in plays per drive and have the second-highest three-and-out percentage in the league. And yet, Cincinnati is still fourth in touchdowns. But the inability to sustain drives has proved to be a problem, as evidenced by the minus-71 play differential, which is also the second highest in the league. If that trend continues, it will continue to place significant pressure on the defense and leave that side of the ball weary in December, which is when the Bengals are hoping to secure their first playoff berth since 2015. -- Ben Baby

NFL.com -- Rank: 11

The Bengals were shredded by Mike White on Sunday, an outcome that only the most emotionally broken of Cincinnati fans could have predicted. White, a backup making his first career start, became the first Jets QB to throw for 400 yards in two decades and carved up the Cincinnati defense for 32 first downs -- New York's most in a game since 1988. The Bengals' offense wasn't innocent here, either, squandering opportunities early and letting the game slip away late following a Joe Burrow interception in the fourth quarter. Cincy blew an 11-point fourth-quarter lead against a one-win team -- it's the type of loss that prompts closer examination of who these Bengals really are.

CBS Sports -- Rank: 11

They just can't handle prosperity. After blowing out the Ravens, how can they lose to the Jets? The defense wasn't good.

USA Today -- Rank: 8

A defense that had been underrated all season then gives up its most points (34) and yards (511) of 2021 ... against the Jets? The NFL is inexplicable -- more so when you consider Cincinnati is just a few plays from being 8-0.

The Athletic -- Rank: 10

How's the head coach? Zac Taylor had been pushing toward Coach of the Year contention, and then the fourth quarter of Sunday's game happened. Sorry, the Jets? Four hundred and five passing yards by Mike White? Given the progress Cincinnati has made this season, we probably can chalk that one up to a learning experience for a young team. It was a classic letdown spot after the Bengals stormed Baltimore in Week 7 for a statement victory. Keeping it from snowballing will be a test for Taylor.

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