The Bengals lost, but that hardly made them unique in their division Sunday. The Battle of Ohio is up next.
1. The season really starts now for Cincinnati.
The Bengals went to New England and lost a game no one thought they would win, but they looked better (most of the time) than they did a week before when they got pushed around by Dallas.
If they can’t shore up the secondary and improve up front on the offensive line (thus making running the ball a realistic possibility), they aren’t going anywhere, but the rest of the schedule looks much more forgiving.
2. The Browns are still the only team in the NFL without a win.
They should offer the Bengals a chance to jumpstart the season, but the Battle of Ohio has a tendency to be unpredictable.
Cleveland at least seems to have something to build on with quarterback/receiver combo of Cody Kessler (336 yards passing) and Terrelle Pryor, who caught two touchdown passes in a 28-26 loss to Tennessee.
3. On the bright side, the Steelers lost.
Pittsburgh could have gone two games up on Baltimore and three up on the Bengals but lost to Miami, whose only other win is against the Browns.
Instead, the Steelers just offered another reminder trying to predict what will happen in the NFL is a fool’s errand.
They also lost Ben Roethlisberger for at least one game to a torn meniscus according to ESPN, but he has proven time and again to be able to come back from injury and thrive.
4. So did the Ravens, which isn’t nearly as surprising.
Baltimore fell to 3-3 with a 27-23 loss to the Giants. After injuries made 2015 a lost season, the Ravens don’t seem to be a team that will scare many opponents like they once did.
5. From the “It Could Always Be Worse” file: The Panthers are 1-5.
One year after playing in the Super Bowl, Carolina is going to have a very hard time getting back into the playoffs.
Cam Newton is understandably frustrated.
6. Colin Kaepernick wasn’t very good, and the 49ers got drilled.
San Francisco seems to have many more problems than at quarterback. The 49ers gave up over 300 yards rushing while losing 45-16 to the Bills.
Kaepernick completed only 13 of 29 passes for 187 yards, though he did not turn the ball over. He also ran for 66 yards.
Meanwhile, Tyrod Taylor posted a QB rating of 110.9 with two TD passes and also ran for 68 yards for Buffalo.
7. Ezekiel Elliott and Dak Prescott excelled again.
So if there was any doubt, we can say with certainty it wasn’t just the Bengals making Dallas’ rookie backfield look good.
Ezekiel Elliott ran for 157 yards and his 703 rushing yards are the second-most by a rookie in his first six games.
Prescott threw for 247 yards and three touchdowns but also threw the first interception of his NFL career.
The Cowboys still won 30-16 over the Packers.