A weekly examination of the Bengals' ESPN.com Power Ranking:
Preseason: 9 | Last Week: 8 |ESPN.com Power Ranking since 2002
For the third consecutive week, the Cincinnati Bengals were ranked eighth in ESPN.com's Power Rankings. Despite earning a key conference win on the road at San Diego, the Bengals remained in the same spot they settled into since their 41-20 win over the Cleveland Browns three weeks ago. After moving from 10th to eighth following that win, they remained at No. 8 after last week's bye, too.
Now that the playoff picture is beginning to come more and more into focus, don't expect the Bengals -- and other teams for that matter -- to be making any really drastic moves up or down in the Power Rankings. In fact, the Bengals stand their greatest chance of moving up a spot or two this coming week, after hosting the 10th-ranked Indianapolis Colts. With a win over the AFC South leaders, the Bengals could shoot up to sixth or seventh.
This may be Cincinnati's greatest chance for movement because the other remaining teams on its schedule (the Vikings, Steelers and Ravens) are in the bottom half of the league's rankings.