There was a statement made on Sunday night at San Francisco. But did 49ers’ impressive win over Green Bay alter the latest NFL Power Rankings?
Cincinnati Bengals 0-11
Last week: L, 16-10 vs PIT
Last rank: 32nd
Recap: A loss to rival Pittsburgh on Sunday would give the Bengals the worst start in the franchise’s 52-year history. Including a playoff setback in 2015, the club had dropped their last nine contests in this series, including a 27-3 setback at Heinz Field on a Monday night in Week 4. Zac Taylor’s club overcame some early issues and owned a 7-3 second-quarter lead but would not reach the end zone the rest of the afternoon. Ryan Finley was sacked four times and lost a fumble in the fourth quarter that proved to be a game-breaker. And Cincinnati’s run defense once again proved to be a problem as the short-handed Steelers’ offense managed to run for 160 yards on 38 attempts.
Next Week: The Bengals host the New York Jets for the first time since 2013 as these teams meet for only the fourth time in 10 seasons. When last the Green and White invaded Paul Brown Stadium, Cincinnati hammered the visitors, 49-9. The Bengals also came up with a 23-22 road win in 2016 the last time these clubs squared off.
Draft Talk: Obviously, this franchise is currently the frontrunner for the first overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft. Regardless of where they pick on that first evening, are the Bengals looking to start over at quarterback? The club has its share of needs and has plenty of issues on defense. And this is a club that utilizes the draft extremely well.
New York Giants 2-9
Last week: L, 19-14 at CHI
Last rank: 30th
Recap: Pat Shurmur’s team is on the verge of playoff elimination. But with six games to go, Big Blue could still salvage a .500 season if they could knock off the struggling Bears at Soldier Field. And thanks to a second-quarter touchdown pass from Daniel Jones, the Giants owned a 7-3 lead at intermission. But the club would allow Bears’ quarterback Mitch Trubisky to throw for 278 yards and while they picked him off twice, Jones (who lost another fumble) and company couldn’t muster enough offense to prevent another setback. Shurmur’s club converted only one of its 12 third-down attempts and New York finished the afternoon with only 243 yards of total offense.
Next Week: New York plays host to the formidable Green Bay Packers as the teams meet for the first time since 2016. The Giants are also hosting this series for the first time since defeating the Aaron Rodgers-less Pack, 27-13, six years ago. Including a playoff meeting in ’16, the home team has won four straight games in this setting.
Playoff hopes: For the third straight year, Big Blue will post a losing campaign. Since winning 11 games back in 2016 and grabbing a wild card berth, the Giants are a dismal 10-33 in their last 43 outings and are in the midst of a seven-game losing streak. The defense played fairly solid football on Sunday but it unfortunately meant little.