John Harbaugh declares Bengals the best team in the NFL


Maybe John Harbaugh just has tunnel vision, because his team is two games behind the AFC North leaders at the moment, and have lost three straight to them.

Either that, or he’s taken leave of his senses.

Via Jamison Hensley of, Ravens coach John Harbaugh has declared the Bengals the best team in the NFL.

“I’ll tell you, I do believe it is the most talented team in the league,” Harbaugh said, apparently with a straight face.

While there are likely folks in New England or Green Bay and other precincts who might argue, the Bengals have been rather stable lately, and quarterback Andy Dalton hasn’t turned the ball over or been sacked this season.

“We have great respect for them, for their coaches [and] the way they play,” Harbaugh said. “Obviously, it starts with A.J. Green, but the whole cast of characters there on offense is very talented and gifted – tight ends, running backs, quarterback. The whole group is very good, and they have a heck of an offensive line. I’d say they’re the complete package, talent-wise.”

Harbaugh hasn’t beaten the Bengals since Nov. 2013, so the respect he’s giving them has been earned. Even if it is a bit over the top.

76 responses to “John Harbaugh declares Bengals the best team in the NFL

  1. Why does this statement have to be criticized?

    You don’t know who the best team in the league is this year. .. the Bengals are undefeated so they have as good a shot as any at being the best.

    It’s an opinion. Just because you are swept up by the Packers and Patriots doesn’t mean everybody else is.

    Lions fan

  2. I agree it’s right up there at the top. If you gave the Bengals Rodgers or Brady instead of Andy Dalton it’s a 15-1 team. All it’s missing is the Dallas Cowboys offensive line.

  3. I didn’t read anywhere in the story where Harbaugh said they were the best team in the NFL, he said they were the most talented team. Outside of the QB position, you will find many “experts” tout the Bengals have the deepest and most talented roster, this is not necessarily equivalent to best team. But hey, headlines sell newspapers….

  4. Not a ravens or Harbaugh fan by any means but how is this different than any of the “coach speak” (crap) that comes from any of the 32 HC’s in the league?

    He doesn’t believe the bengals are the best team in the nfl. He doesn’t even believe that the bengals are better than the ravens or that ravens aren’t going to beat them (although I think the bengals are a better team, for whatever that is worth, I don’t think any team in that division is particularly good).

    He is lying. He is an nfl head coach. Nothing to see here folks.

  5. Also, the Bengals are an extremely talented team at many skill positions. They have been for a while, but have some trouble when January comes.

  6. Looks like Harbaugh has decided that if he cannot beat the Patriots (although he has), and it does not do any good to whine about them or call them cheaters (see the start of the Colts and Ravens seasons), then you might as well join the Patriots.

    Last Sunday Harbaugh used a legal, but unusual, offensive formation play to score a TD against the Raiders. Not the same play he threw a tantrum about in the Pats/Ravens game last season, but close enough. Apparently Harbaugh studied the rule book this off-season, and copied the Patriots.

    Now he is buttering up his next opponent – again emulating the Greatest Head Coach in NFL History, Bill Belichick.

    Nothing wrong with trying to emulate the Greatest, but Harbaugh needs to remember to put together a defensive game plan this week.

  7. Most talented does not necessarily mean best. You misinterpreted what he said.

    I honestly think it’s the most talented team as well; just missing supreme talent at key places (QB, HC).

  8. Why has he lost his senses? The way you speak about the Bengals, it’s obvious you hold some sort of hate for them. They are very talented, probably the most talented in the league. Talent alone doesn’t win games though. Everything has to be put together to win the Super Bowl. The Giants weren’t the most talented team when they won both of their Super Bowls.

  9. .
    The league leader in lies told to the entire Super Bowl audience, John Harbaugh, is merely trying to indemnify himself from his impending 0-4 start. The Bengals will be cleaning the Ravens clock on Sunday and then they have the ” Revenge Bowl” , the following week at Pittsburgh. Good luck with that.

  10. Will the FrameGate curse continue for the Ravens (not to mention the Colts, Giants, Cowboys and anyone else who backed a proven-corrupt Commissioner)?

    This all started when the Patriots embarrassed the Ravens by playing within the rules (which the owners IMMEDIATELY changed) and Brady scolded Harbaugh.

    Next thing you know the Ravens are emailing the Colts, which led to a failed NFL sting (too bad the footballs weren’t actually deflated!)

    Now the Ravens are 0-2, and Suggs is out for the season and maybe his career – the only winless team in the AFC North who just lost to the friggen Raiders (where they tried the same type of play as the Patriots – hypocrites)

  11. He said most talented team in the league. Which there’s an argument the Bengals are. Not the best team in the league. Why the smart comment about something he never even said?

  12. Saying they are the most talented does not say they are the best team. The difference is coaching and Harbaugh puts in all on Marvin Lewis’ shoulders that the talent can’t be an excuse for losing.

  13. Can you really blame Harbaugh for making this statement? He said “most talented”. They have Better WR’s than GB and NE, better line on both sides than NE and better D than both. The only thing making NE and GB better teams is that they have a much better QB. Yes that’s very important, but he didn’t say they’re the best team, he said the most talented.

  14. >“I’ll tell you, I do believe it is the most talented team in the league,” Harbaugh said, apparently with a straight face.

    Can we drop the “Bengals suck lol” meme already? It’s as out of date and unfunny as the “Bengals players are all convicts lol” meme.

    The Bengals have been a consistently good team for four years now. The notion that they’re the best team in the league (which isn’t even what he said, as plenty of others have pointed out) isn’t laughably ridiculous if you’ve been paying any attention at all to the NFL, which is supposedly your job, I think?

    No, they’re probably not the best team in the NFL. Yes, they have problems when the bright lights are on. But they could very well be the most talented team in the league. That’s not an absurd statement.

    Also, props to suhmonster90; everything he said is spot on.

  15. He didn’t say they were the “Best” team in the NFL. He said they are the most “Talented” team in the league. You can’t deny that there’s a lot of talented players on that team. Whether that makes them the “Best” is another story.

  16. I agree it’s right up there at the top. If you gave the Bengals Rodgers or Brady instead of Andy Dalton it’s a 15-1 team. All it’s missing is the Dallas Cowboys offensive line.


    If you put Andy Dalton in New Englad they will easily be a 12-4 or 13-3 team. The fact is that we don’t know how Brady will perform in a no Bellichick system since he took a “pay cut” to saty there.

  17. The Bengals have the most talented roster, by far. No team has the depth that this team has. However, teams like Green Bay and the Patriots look superior because of the play coming from their QB’s. Andy is not Rodgers or Brady but we don’t need him to be which is nice. If Rodgers or Brady ever have a bad day, their team is in trouble. If Andy has a bad day, we can put the ball on the 2 #1 RB’s we have and they will carry the load and take weight off of Andy. So yeah, maybe I sound like a homer, but I believe the Bengals do have the best roster in the NFL as a whole. Now are they going to run the whole season, go 11-5 and go to the Superbowl? We have to wait and see. First this team has to get over that playoff hump that they’ve been hitting for 4 straight years now. Baby steps.

  18. Blah blah Packers. Green Bay has lost its last 3 games against Cincinnati. The Packers haven’t beaten the Bengals since the 90’s.

  19. As the season starts all teams jockey for #1. Need I remind all espcially Harbaugh? As Flair says to be the man ya gotta beat the man. Who else is 2 and 0? The SB champ NE Patriots that’s who. They still the man unbeaten. Til they are beaten they are #1 end of story

  20. Funny how all the teams that pissed and whined after the Patriots knocked them out of the playoffs are a combined 0-6. Haven’t won a single game since between the 3 of them.

    The Ravens whined about formations. The Colts whined about air pressure. The Seahawks whined about a bad play call. Hell, even the Steelers tried to get in on it with that headset nonsense.

    They rack up excuses while the Patriots rack up wins. The karma train just keeps barreling down the tracks.

  21. Talent? Depth? Sorry but no you are wrong. Very very wrong. Aj green can be a beast, but he has a lot of drops that turn into int’s. Dalton is subpar, geno has his moments as do their rb’s. However, they have no real ability to dominate teams, and from everything I’ve seen for the last 3 seasons, the bengals have some how managed to play several games a year against teams that beat themselves, and everyone sees them as some kind of team that just can’t get over that hump. Well, there’s a reason for that…they’re just not that good. Period.

  22. “Everyone in the world knows that the Patriots are undoubtedly the best team in football.

    Unless they have to play fair.”

    Says the fan of the team that has made seattle the PED capital of the world and “seadderall” a household term.

  23. This is the same guy who was ignorant of the LEGAL shift and allignment used against him by the Patriots and then cried so much that the NFL had to modify the rules by adding the eligible jersey numbers requirement so clueless coaches like Harbaugh might be able to recognize this shift in the future?

    Yeah, and he then successfully used this very same shift in their last game against the Raiders. If you can’t beat them, copy them, right Harbaugh?

  24. The Bengals are a talented team, but Cincy fans shouldn’t read too much into Waaahhhrbaugh’s praise. He knows who the best team in the NFL is – it just pains him to no end to have to say it out loud.

  25. “Everyone in the world knows that the Patriots are undoubtedly the best team in football.

    Unless they have to play fair.”

    Says the fan of the team that has made seattle the PED capital of the world and “seadderall” a household term.

    How can a Pats be yapping? After all you have brought Cheaties to life…..the Pats will always be considered cheaters and their fans to be the most easy duped fans….sorta like lemmings.

  26. Many teams have gifted, incredible players.
    Still… I like our team. The Patriots have no-name players but BB and TB12 almost make them look gifted.

    Harbaugh can just say, ” We’re on to Cincinnati.” Might as well copy BB all the way.

  27. “How can a Pats be yapping?”

    Thank you for asking! I can be “yapping” because I can point out to fans of teams that really do cheat that they….cheat.

    Such as the #4 ranked team on the PED “list of shame”, the baltimore ravens.

    Can you say “deer antler spray” real quick 3 times?

    I do have to hand it to harbs this week though, his team may not be very good this year but at least the last game shows he read the nfl rule book this year.

  28. After he sniffled his way through that statement he wiped the tears away and trudged off with his head down trying to hide the new round of whining and crying we all know is coming

  29. tajuara says:
    Sep 23, 2015 10:02 AM
    I agree it’s right up there at the top. If you gave the Bengals Rodgers or Brady instead of Andy Dalton it’s a 15-1 team. All it’s missing is the Dallas Cowboys offensive line.

    Dalton hasn’t been sacked all year. If Dallas’ offensive line
    is so great, why is Romo in a sling?

  30. He’s just copying BB.
    What’s next? Placing the entire Ravens roster on the injury report?

    Everybody realizes that it’s just coach-speak to keep from being bulletin-board material in the opposing team’s locker room.

    This team is talented, deep, and so far this year, balanced. But I’ll have to wait and see if the ginger can take us to the promised land.

  31. I’ll wait until Dalton and the Bengals actually win ONE playoff game before even considering them as a contender. We all remember what happened to the Bengals after Bill Belichick said, “We’re onto Cincinnati. “

  32. Tell WHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAABAUGH his opinion means crap!!, we don’t listen to rats or crybabies!!

  33. Get ready for the 0-3 start John. That will be the worst in Ravens history. What you gonna whine about?

  34. He’s right. The most talented roster by a mile and so far this season, no team is better. What happened last year and before that, matters not.

    Dalton detractors will be buying his jersey before its all said and done.

    It’s a new day, it’s a who-dey!

  35. cnote94 hit the nail on the head. There are plenty of rosters that are good enough to be the “best team” if they had Brady or Rodgers. The roster is half the team, the QB is the other half.

  36. Last year pats get hammered in week 4 and are 2 and 2. Bengals come into foxboro with an undefeated record and proceed to get blown out. Bengals are great sept team but unfortunately it’s dec and jan where winners shine. Lewis and Dalton are not winners and will never win a SB together.

  37. Having the most talent does NOT equate to having the best team. If they don’t gel and/or not have a superior coaching staff, the talent aspect is wasted.

  38. Are the Bengals finally benefiting from a decade’s worth of top 10 picks?

    If they, it’s about time….

    AFC North
    Go Ravens!

  39. The bengals are always good for the first few weeks of the year.

    Then the inevitable downturn happens and they are one and down like old Papa John. Wash, rinse, repeat

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