The Cincinnati Bengals finished the 2017 season with a 7-9 record. They will have to find better ways to win in 2018 to make the playoffs.
The Cincinnati Bengals are entering the 2018 season not receiving much praise from football analysts. Most are expecting the Bengals to have a third consecutive losing season. While there is plenty to be optimistic about when looking at what the organization has done this offseason, there are plenty of question marks on the team.
When going over last seasons schedule, Cincinnati went 1-5 against playoff teams. The only win came against Buffalo who only made it into the playoffs because the Bengals knocked their divisional rival the Baltimore Ravens out in week 17. Other than games against the Cleveland Browns, the Bengals failed to put up strong wins against weak opponents last year.
Outside of the Browns matchups, Cincinnati failed to win a game by more than a single score. That includes their two wins in the final weeks of the season where the team looked promising. A late 49-yard touchdown pass to Tyler Boyd was what solidified the victory for the Bengals in their win over the Ravens late in the fourth quarter.
If the Bengals are going to make the playoffs, let alone win a game in the postseason, they have to do better at beating weak opponents. They also have to prove better against their divisional opponents. While the Bengals have done well against the Ravens and Browns the last few seasons, they have failed to get out of the little brother role when it comes to the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Can the Bengals finally overcome their divisional opponents and win an AFC North title in 2018? Will all of the question marks become success stories this season? Only time will tell, but while there are plenty of reasons to be optimistic with all of the changes in the Bengals organization, there are plenty of reasons to hold back hope.