The Cincinnati Bengals have a tough schedule almost every year and the main reason why is that their division is just brutal. Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports listed the AFC North as the second-toughest division in the league.
La Canfora had this to say about the Bengals and the AFC North as a whole:
"The Bengals were far more competitive with Joe Burrow under center — and if they can keep him upright they will be pretty interesting to watch. I still seem them picking in the top 10 of the draft, but have the ability to knock off a quality team or two along the way. They have two teams who could make a legit Super Bowl case. That carries the day for the AFC North."
The final two sentences are obviously about the division. It’s weird grouping the Browns in as a Super Bowl contender but they have made a lot of big moves this offseason and we’ll have to see if they can get out of their own way moving forward.
The Ravens and Steelers have constantly been contenders in recent years and this makes things difficult for the Bengals as far as being competitive goes.
The Cincinnati Bengals are in one of the toughest divisions.
When looking at predictions for the top teams in the league, the Browns and Ravens are nearly always listed at the top and the Steelers aren’t far behind. Some might doubt the Steelers this year but Bengals fans should know better than to doubt Mike Tomlin and the Pittsburgh Steelers. This is an organization that always stays afloat no matter what and this year won’t be any different. They’ll thrive on being considered underdogs.
Back to the Bengals though — Even with the tough division and difficult schedule ahead of them, the Bengals are still getting respect and predicted to have a winning record. That’d be something considering the team has to face their divisional foes six times a year but La Canfora did note that he thought this was a team who could steal a few wins this season.
Having a division that’s as difficult as the AFC North makes things more challenging but it’ll prepare Joe Burrow and the rest of the Bengals for the bigger games down the road that are hopefully to come.