Week 14: Dallas Cowboys (Home)
Prediction: Loss 20-37 (6-7)
After a three-game win streak, the Bengals have to come crashing back to Earth at some point. When the Dallas Cowboys come to town, the team that was starting to do so well is going to fall and they are going to fall hard.
For as good as the Bengals’ defense should be in 2020, the Cowboys’ offense should be even better (assuming that Dak Prescott is quarterback). The Cowboys will likely take off early and get a big lead that Burrow won’t be able to dig the Bengals out of.
Week 15: Pittsburgh Steelers (Home)
Prediction: Win 21-20 (7-7)
At 6-7 up to this point, the Bengals will have to pull out a win against the Steelers to even have a prayer of sneaking into the playoffs. Behind what will be the defining win of Burrow’s rookie year, Cincinnati does just that under the bright lights of Monday Night Football.
In a game that could eliminate the Steelers from playoff contention while boosting themselves even closer, the Bengals pull out a tight one. This gives Zac Taylor and Joe Burrow their first win over the team’s biggest rival and sets up a bright future in future seasons.
Week 16: Houston Texans (Away)
Prediction: Loss 24-28 (7-8)
After a game that gives the Bengals a real shot at the playoffs, heartbreak is bound to come. In what could be a battle between two teams fighting for a Wildcard Playoff Spot, Deshaun Watson’s NFL experience gives the Houston Texans the edge over the Bengals, ending what could have been the Bengals’ first playoff appearance since 2015 before it even started.
This loss should not demoralize fans, Burrow is just a rookie quarterback, and to even get the team this close will be an accomplishment. Besides, the Burrow revenge tour in his second year will be something for the history books.
Week 17: Baltimore Ravens (Home)
Prediction: Loss 14-21 (7-9)
After a season-ending loss against the Texans, the demoralized Bengals hope to play the role of spoiler against the Baltimore Ravens, who will be competing for the first seed in the AFC and a first-round playoff bye. In the end, the Ravens are just the better team. Cincinnati will keep it closer than the previous matchup, but ultimately still lose.