The Cincinnati Bengals will find out when they play the games on the 2021 schedule on Wednesday but even before knowing when those games take place, Cincinnati’s schedule is tied for sixth in the league as far as toughness is concerned.
The Bengals opponent’s combined winning percentage from last season is .529, tying for the sixth-most difficult schedule. This makes perfect sense when you factor in that the Bengals play in the AFC North where three of the four teams in the division made the playoffs last year. On top of that, Cincinnati gets to face the NFC North this year meaning they’ll have the Packers, Bears, and Vikings on their schedule, all respectable teams a season ago.
The good news is that the two toughest schedules this season belong to the Steelers and Ravens, who are No. 1 and No. 2 respectively. The Bengals somehow have a tougher schedule than the Browns (No. 9) despite finishing with a worse record than them. Still, the entire AFC North has a difficult path ahead of them and it won’t be easy for this division.
The Cincinnati Bengals have one of the toughest schedules in 2021.
The most difficult games on the agenda are against the other three teams in the division, the Chiefs, and the Packers. Cincinnati also faces the 49ers, as the addition of the 17th game means they face another NFC team who finished last in the division. The Niners will be a much tougher team than they were a season ago because they’ll have their injured players back and should look more like the Super Bowl team we saw the season prior.
Having this tough of a schedule when this young team is still trying to gel will be tough but these are the kind of schedules teams have to be able to navigate through if they want to make any kind of noise in the league. It won’t be easy for the Bengals but the rest of the division is also going to have an uphill battle and that’s the best news to come from this.
While the schedule is difficult right now, we never know what will happen to these teams throughout the course of the season. I mentioned the 49ers above and no one would have expected them to finish the season with a losing record but that’s what a string of injuries do. It can happen to any team and that means the schedule’s level of difficulty could change rapidly.
It might not be an easy slate of games for the Bengals but we’ll see what this team is made of during the course of the 2021 season.