Week 8 @ Browns (Oct. 30 — 8:15 EST) – Monday Night Football
This one is going to be a doozy, especially if Deshaun Watson is eligible to play. If he is, this will mark the first time that Joe Burrow and Watson will square off in the pros and it’ll likely be the first of many, as Watson is now a member of the AFC North.
Last year wasn’t pretty when it came to games against the Browns as the other team in Ohio swept the Bengals. Say what you want about the Week 18 matchup where Cincy sat their key players — it still counts in the record books.
While the Bengals hopefully won’t get swept by the Browns again this year, they probably won’t get a sweep themselves and they’ll start with a loss to the in-state Browns.
Prediction: Bengals lose 38-33 (5-3)
Week 9 vs. Panthers (Nov. 6 — 1:00 EST)
One of the more winnable games, at least on paper, is the Week 9 matchup against the Panthers. While some might consider this to be a trap game, unless Christian McCaffrey has a game for the ages (which, let’s be real, is a possibility), the Bengals should be able to handle Carolina.
Any given Sunday is a saying for a reason but the stripes are able to win this one and get back in the win column.
Prediction: Bengals win 24-14 (6-3)