Ranking Bengals 2021 season schedule by opponent difficulty

Cincinnati Bengals (Photo by Bryan Woolston/Getty Images)
Cincinnati Bengals (Photo by Bryan Woolston/Getty Images) /
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Cincinnati Bengals
Kansas City Chiefs (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) /

Ranking Bengals Opponents by Difficulty

1. Kansas City Chiefs (Week 17)

The most difficult opponent on the Cincinnati Bengals’ 2021 schedule is the Kansas City Chiefs, who they don’t have to face until the second to last week of the season. This draw could actually work in the Bengals’ favor, as the Chiefs could already have the division and their playoff seed locked up by the second to last game of the season. That could mean KC is resting their starters, paving the way for an easier game for Cincinnati.

Realistically though, the Chiefs will play their starters in this game, meaning it’ll be the first time we see Burrow go toe-to-toe with Patrick Mahomes. The last time the Bengals faced Mahomes, it didn’t go well, so the hope is that the team can at least be competitive this year.

As I mentioned earlier with facing the Browns in Week 18, the Bengals have a chance to play spoiler against the Chiefs late in the year. It was considered a “must-see” game for Cincinnati fans this year because of the Burrow vs Mahomes angle and if the Bengals are in any type of playoff contention, this could be a really special matchup.

It helps that the game is at Paul Brown Stadium but there’s a reason the Chiefs are No. 1 on the list. They’ve been to the last two Super Bowls and have the best quarterback and head coach in the league. This is going to be a tough one for the Bengals to win.

Some of these teams were hard to place on this list but it wasn’t difficult picking the top three. The Chiefs have Mahomes and Andy Reid, the Ravens have kicked the Bengals’ teeth consistently, and the Packers have the reigning MVP (for now anyway).

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Maybe we’ll see the Bengals hold their own against some of these teams. If they do, that’d be a great sign for the future.