The Bengals have a steep hill to climb in 2015 if they are going to give themselves a shot to get over their playoff woes. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports
The Cincinnati Bengals will have their hands full in 2015. After finishing in second place in the AFC North last season, the Bengals will fellow second placers, the AFC South’s Houston Texans and the AFC East’s Buffalo Bills. Both teams are seemingly on the rise, especially the Bills who are now led by Rex Ryan. But these games are likely the least of Cincinnati’s worries based on the rest of their schedule.
The Bengals are matched up against the AFC and NFC West in 2015. This means they’ll face some stiff competition including a team that nearly won the last two Super Bowls, the Seattle Seahawks. This and we’ve yet to mention Cincinnati’s yearly matchups against their AFC North rivals.
Last year, the AFC North proved to be the NFL’s best as three teams, the Bengals, Steelers, and Ravens, made the playoffs. And if it wasn’t for a late season collapse, the Cleveland Browns could’ve finished at .500 or better, and an entire division to finish above .500 is pretty remarkable. The division shouldn’t get any easier in 2015 as each team likely only improves in the coming year.
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Other than the given importance of the Bengals’ games against divisional rivals, Cincinnati has some key matchups. The team will have an opportunity to prove their merit against Super Bowl-type teams when facing the last two runners-up in the Seattle Seahawks and Denver Broncos. Having the opportunity to face such opponents is perfect in a make-or-break season like 2015 is for the Bengals. It’ll give fans a chance to see whether this team is for real or not.
If Cincinnati is able to pull out a couple of wins against tough teams such as these previously mentioned teams as well as the Arizona Cardinals, San Diego Chargers, and Kansas City Chiefs, they’ll have put themselves in great position to regain the division title.
With regards to the AFC North, the Bengals have proven they can handle themselves against the Ravens after beating them in each of their last three matchups, albeit in tough games. They’ve proven they can do the same against the Browns. If the Bengals can finally solve their issue with the Steelers, they’ve lost their last three matchups, they should secure themselves a nice seeding in the playoffs and give their current roster one last shot to overcome their playoff woes.
Check in with Stripe Hype soon for 2015 schedule analysis.
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