I actually think it was a well written section on Peyton. He gave him his due, and only put an asterisk on his tie at #1 because he hasn't beaten a top rated team.
I can sort of see the Bengals argument, but I would even take it a step further. I don't think Peyton will yet earn his respect even AFTER the beating he gives Baltimore this weekend. Like it or not, showdown time will only come in the playoffs this year.
Bring it on!