With the 2012 season quickly approaching, the Cincinnati Bengals begin what many fans hope to be a successful season. While many people were surprised the Bengals made the playoffs, many analysts doubt the Bengals will get back to the playoffs. While they did make the playoffs last year, one statistic should be very much bolded within that locker room. Zero wins against playoff teams, and only one win against a team with a winning record. Now, that’s not to say the Bengals didn’t earn their playoff berth, but it is to show that this season they must put a huge emphasis in beating the best teams. The first half of their 2012 season, they play the Ravens, Browns, Redskins, Jaguars, Dolphins, Browns, and Steelers. It seems like a favorable schedule where the Bengals could come out 5-2 or 6-1. However, after the Bye week, that’s when the real test comes.
The Bengals play 4 playoff teams from last year (including the Steelers and Ravens again), the Eagles and Cowboys whom seem to have improved since last season, Carson Palmer’s return to Paul Brown stadium, and the Chiefs and Chargers whom could be fighting for a playoff spot that late within the season. Basically every team the Bengals will face after the Bye week is a playoff contender. It’s almost like the schedule makers had planned this, giving the Bengals a schedule somewhat similar to their schedule to last year, but afterwards see if they can beat the big boys.