Power Rankings: Bengals move into top 5

Updated: September 27, 2005, 2:00 PM ET

ESPN.com's Power Rankings
This week's rankings were determined by a poll of ESPN.com's NFL staff -- writers John Clayton, Len Pasquarelli, Michael Smith, NFL Insider Jeremy Green, Scouts Inc., and ESPN.com NFL editors Peter Lawrence-Riddell and James C. Black.

While their offense continues to struggle, scoring just 15.7 points per game, the Colts remain in the top spot with another strong defensive performance. The Patriots jumped up to No. 2 with a hard-fought win over the Steelers that saw them lose two starters (S Rodney Harrison and OT Matt Light) to injury.

The biggest news at the top of this week's rankings is the Bengals jumping all the way up to No. 4. We can't go back and look at every Power Ranking ever done by ESPN.com, but since the site (ESPNet SportsZone at the time) didn't exist until April 1, 1995, and the Bengals haven't had a winning record over that time, we're pretty confident this is the highest they've ever been.

Another surprise team, 3-0 Tampa Bay, continued its rise up the rankings. With a resurgent defense and a rookie back who really has been a Cadillac, the Bucs have rocketed up the charts from No. 28 all the way to No. 6.

Among the teams moving in the wrong direction are the Jets, who dropped from No. 12 to No. 21 after losing to the Jaguars. Plus, the Jets lost much more than just a game, with both Chad Pennington and Jay Fiedler falling to injury. It looks as though Pennington will be out for the season, with Fiedler possibly lost for a significant amount of time, too. Injuries are part of the NFL, but losing your top two QBs in one day is going to be hard to overcome.

On to the rankings. Also, you can rank the teams yourself with SportsNation's NFL Power Rankings.


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