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Senior NFL Columnist

NFL Power Rankings: Bengals, Cards look like contenders ... for now

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One of my favorite NFL mantras is that we can't really gauge the NFL season until Halloween. Until then, it will fool us week in and week out. Trying to get a gauge on it is infuriating at times.

Week 3 taught us that.

The Buffalo Bills, Carolina Panthers and Houston Texans all came into the week undefeated. They all left with a loss, which has them all falling here in my Power Rankings.

So that begs the question: What is real for these teams? Were the 2­0 starts the big fugazi? Who knows? So as we get ready to close out September, getting us to the quarter point of the season, and teams start taking bye weeks, I caution that it's way too early to get a real read on the season.

So hold off trying to figure it out until the day you steal the candy from your kid's trick­or­treat bag. Until then, it's just too damn hard from week to week to figure the NFL out.

RANK TEAM MOVE (LW)

Pete Prisco has covered the NFL for three decades, including working as a beat reporter in Jacksonville for the Jaguars. He hosted his own radio show for seven years, and is the self-anointed star of CBS Sports' show, Eye on Football. When he's not watching game tape, you can find Pete on Twitter or dreaming of an Arizona State national title in football.
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