A few weeks after several teams got off to strong starts, those clubs have hit the skids. And those results have had an impact on the NFL Power Rankings.
Miami Dolphins 0-5
Last week: L, 17-16 vs WAS
Last rank: 32nd
Recap: After some time off, the winless Dolphins returned to the field on Sunday and took on a team with a worst record than their own in the 0-5 Washington Redskins. The club had scored a total of 26 points in its first four contests and down 17-3 late in the fourth quarter, it was shaping up as another long afternoon for the Miami offense. But the start of the fourth quarter, veteran quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick into the lineup. He wound up leading the team to a pair of fourth-quarter touchdowns – the first second-half points for the team in ’19. But the Dolphins went for the win instead of the tie and came up short after scoring a touchdown with six seconds to play.
Next Week: Brian Flores’ team plays its second divisional game of the season when they head north to take on the improved Buffalo Bills. The latter should be well rested after having the previous week off. A year ago, these clubs split their two game set, the Dolphins prevailing in South Florida (21-17) and the Bills at Orchard Park (42-17).
Playoff hopes: It’s hard to imagine Flores’ team putting together a run. And even more difficult to comprehend that the ‘Fins pose a threat to both the Patriots and Bills in the AFC East. The Dolphins are the only winless team in the division and one of only two in the league. They’ll be relegated to the role of spoiler for the remainder of 2019.
Cincinnati Bengals 0-6
Last week: L, 23-17 at BAL
Last rank: 30th
Recap: Off to the team’s worst start since 2008, the Bengals faced a divisional rival on the road for the second time in three weeks as Zac Taylor’s club took on the first-place Baltimore Ravens. Cincinnati got off to a fast start as Brandon Wilson returned the opening kickoff 92 yards for a touchdown. But after one quarter, Taylor’s squad was down by seven points and had been outgained in total yards, 212-6. When it was all said and done, Cincinnati defenders allowed a whopping 269 yards on the ground and 497 total. Quarterback Andy Dalton did throw for 235 yards and also ran for one score but was picked off once. And the Bengals’ running game managed only 33 yards.
Next Week: Taylor’s squad returns from Baltimore and hosts the much-improved Jacksonville Jaguars. It’s the first meeting between these one-time members of the AFC Central since 2017 – when the Bengals fell at Jacksonville, 23-7. As for the last time Cincinnati hosted this series, the home club emerged with a 33-23 triumph in ’14.
Playoff hopes: Things continue to unravel for the Bengals as defensive coordinator Lou Anarumo’s unit continues to put up little resistance against the run. Six weeks into 2019 and the club is already four full games behind the first-place Ravens. Perhaps the biggest question facing the franchise is when will wide receiver A.J. Green return?