Looking Ahead to Next Year
With a 3-5 record and a remaining schedule as hard as it is, the Cincinnati Bengals seem to have a lost season. Once again, Cincy goes into a season, after shocking the world and making the playoffs a year previous, and just flops. You can blame it on a lot of things: a severely banged up defense, an inconsistent offensive line, a severe lack of a running game, or Andy Dalton’s sophomore slump. Either way, this has not been a good season for Bengals fans. Some of us have given up hope and are looking forward to next season.
There is one problem with that: it is going to be even harder. With games against the teams of the NFC North (Packers, Bears, Vikings, and Lions) and AFC East (Patriots, Bills, Jets, and Dolphins). These teams feature some of the elite players of the league, like Green Bay’s Aaron Rodgers, Jordy Nelson, and Greg Jennings (Cedric Benson will also be there). Then there is Megatron himself, Calvin Johnson. With the Patriots, there is Tom Brady and that dual TE threat in Rom Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez. This should be a tough test for a Bengals team trying to build a team around an outstanding young QB/WR combo of Andy Dalton and A.J. Green.
Here are the Bengals 2013 Opponents according to the Bengals official site:
Home: Green Bay Packers, New York Jets, New England Patriots, Minnesota Vikings, and of course our divisional opponents.
Away: Chicago Bears, Miami Dolphins, Detroit Lions, Buffalo Bills, divisional opponents
Among these teams is five playoff contenders (we aren’t counting the Ravens or Steelers, we play them every year).
Among these teams are a few of the NFL’s elite players:
QB Aaron Rodgers (GB)
QB Tom Brady (NE)
RB Adrian Peterson (MIN)
RB Matt Forte (CHI)
WR Calvin Johnson (DET)
WRs Jordy Nelson (GB)
WR Greg Jennings (GB)
TE Rob Gronkowski (NE)
TE Aaron Hernandez (NE)
DB Charles Woodson (GB)
RB Matt Forte (CHI)
LB Brian Urlacher (CHI)
WR Brandon Marshall (CHI)
DB Charles Tillman (CHI)
These are just a few names, but in these names are 2 Super Bowl MVPs and quite a few future Hall of Famers. For the Bengals, this is either really frightening or a perfect oppritunity to make a name for themselves. Last time we played the Packers, Aaron Rodgers was sacked 8 times. Last time Chicago was an opponent, we crushed them, 45-10, but both teams are loads better.