I'll go ahead and admit that I am not really up to speed as to how "power rankings" are determined. It might have something to do with a computer model and it might have something to do with the opinions of a bunch of experts of the sport. Regardless, it doesn't look great for my favorite NFL team.
I feel as though there is more of an opinion of a human built into these rankings because they mention "culture shock" several times in regards to new head coach Matt Rhule's introduction to the franchise. I've always found that to be a silly term when we are talking about teams that are all dedicated to an almost entirely one-nation culture playing the same sport.
But for some reason the pundits seem to think that Matt Rhule is not going to be able to meld with the team that he is now in charge of. I suppose we'll have to see.
Of the 32 teams in the NFL, The Carolina Panthers are in 31st place, behind the likes of the Dolphins, the Browns, and the Bengals. I have a difficult time believing that this could possibly be the case especially when you consider that the Panthers are likely going to take to the field with one of the best defenses in the league.
The Bengals power rating is all the way up at 25. Still not impressive when the bottom is 32, but a lot of what this placement is based on has everything to do with draft pick Joe Burrow. I'm not knocking Joe Burrow, but when he was shining at LSU he was surrounded by a team that consisted of other players that were heaps better than their opponents. How is he going to fare when he is getting swarmed every 3rd play in Cincy?
There were other changes made to the lineup for the Bengals as well of course, but I really think that Burrow is just going to end up being another one of those "golden tickets" that we hear about nearly every time a star college quarterback gets introduced to the big dance and then fails to live up to impossible expectations. If his offensive line can't give him 10 seconds per down the way that he was accustomed to having at LSU, we might see a very different play style.
I suppose I am being biased. I have nothing against Cincinnati, I just don't like to see a team that barely won a game in 2019 and would have likely lost to multiple AA college teams in a scrimmage, being ranked above my beloved Panthers.
Let's just hope that the 'Rona business gets sorted out before September, so we can test the theories.