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Realistic expectations for Cincinnati Bengals in playoffs

CINCINNATI, OHIO - JANUARY 02: Joe Mixon #28 of the Cincinnati Bengals is introduced before the game against the Kansas City Chiefs at Paul Brown Stadium on January 02, 2022 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
CINCINNATI, OHIO - JANUARY 02: Joe Mixon #28 of the Cincinnati Bengals is introduced before the game against the Kansas City Chiefs at Paul Brown Stadium on January 02, 2022 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images) /
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Tee Higgins, Cincinnati Bengals, C.J. Uzomah (Photo by Kirk Irwin/Getty Images) /

Realistic View: Bengals break the drought, then fall in the AFC race

The Bengals have felt like a different team the last few weeks.

Zac Taylor has seemed to really rely on Joe Burrow and seems determined to not lose by being overly cautious. Burrow and Chase have been on another level and that overshadows the amazing work being done by Joe Mixon, Tyler Boyd, and Tee Higgins. The defense has been on a tear and is playing their best football of the season, making great halftime adjustments each week.

With the way this team is playing, I have a hard time seeing them lose in the Wild Card round.

The stripes are going to get a favorable matchup in the first round (most likely with the Colts) and a win at Paul Brown is in the cards. It is feasible to see Cincinnati winning the next week too, however, I don’t know if this team has enough key parts to make it past that.

The biggest hold-up is likely going to be the offensive line. The Chiefs were a great football team last year, but those who watched the Super Bowl saw a quarterback running for his life every play and could not get any momentum going. Going through some combination of Kansas City, Tennessee, and Buffalo is a difficult task that I don’t know if this team is ready to undertake.

The Bengals are young and have a great chance this offseason to add some key players and come back stronger next year, poised as Super Bowl contenders from the beginning.

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