The Cincinnati Bengals became last year’s greatest underdog story in sports. Joe Burrow showed off his resilient nature, and inspired his offense and defense to do the same at the proper times. Another trip to the Super Bowl couldn’t be higher on the list of goals for this team, and it all starts with how they’ll fare against their list of opponents in the 2022-23 campaign.
The Bengals finished 10-7 in 2021 and were crowned AFC North champions. This offseason, they clearly didn’t need to add a whole lot more to their already stout roster, but there’s always room for improvement in the modern NFL.. And for the Bengals, they prioritized the protection of their franchise quarterback — with the additions of offensive linemen La’el Collins, Alec Gappa and Ted Karras.
Week 1: Pittsburgh Steelers (WIN) (1-0)
Week 2: at Dallas Cowboys (WIN) (2-0)
Week 3: at New York Jets (WIN) (3-0)
Week 4: Miami Dolphins (WIN) (4-0)
Week 5: at Baltimore Ravens (LOSS) (4-1)
Week 6: at New Orleans Saints (WIN) (5-1)
Week 7: Atlanta Falcons (WIN) (6-1)
Week 8: at Cleveland Browns (LOSS) (6-2)
Week 9: Carolina Panthers (WIN) (7-2)
Week 10: Bye
Week 11: at Pittsburgh Steelers (WIN) (8-2)
Week 12: at Tennessee Titans (LOSS) (8-3)
Week 13: Kansas City Chiefs (WIN) (9-3)
Week 14: Cleveland Browns (WIN) (10-3)
Week 15: at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (LOSS) (10-4)
Week 16: at New England Patriots (WIN) (11-4)
Week 17: Buffalo Bills (LOSS) (11-5)
Week 18: Baltimore Ravens (WIN) (12-5)
Cincinnati has the third-toughest schedule in the NFL next season, with their combined opponents’ record sitting at (154-133-2). They have two tough games to kick off the year against the Pittsburgh Steelers and Dallas Cowboys. The results of these meetings could become pivotal down the road. If the Bengals can take these two, they could very well have an undefeated record heading into the Baltimore Ravens clash in Week 5. The bottom-half of the list gets a tad dicey. Following the Week 10 bye, every opponent crossing paths with Cincy has at least one playoff appearance in the last two seasons. How much will this wind up mattering for the Bengals? We’ll have to wait and see.
Win total odds: Over 10 (+110) Under 10 (-130)
Pick: Over 10
The Bengals might have begun last year’s postseason as an underdog, but they walked off SoFi Stadium following their Super Bowl defeat to the Los Angeles Rams as serious contenders for the next decade. 10 wins is low, even with one of the most daunting schedules in football. “Beat the best to be the best” will be Cincinnati’s mantra moving forward after what they’ve previously endured. The irony is: They are literally in “the best in the NFL” conversation right now. The over looks pretty good here.
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