The Cincinnati Bengals are gearing up for the upcoming NFL season as the defending AFC North champions. Will they have the same success?
The Cincinnati Bengals achieved high success last NFL season with an AFC North Championship win and a Super Bowl appearance. Some saw it as a fluke, and others saw it as a direct result of hard work and strategic choices over the years. Regardless of how they nearly got to the top last season, they proved themselves as one of the most dominant teams in the league.
They continued to strengthen their team during the 2022 NFL Draft. Though their defense-heavy draft picks drew in mixed reactions, they seem to have made a good choice in keeping the team balanced.
"“This team is loaded and its going to be a problem for a long time. I love with they did to bolster the defense in the draft and what they did to buttress the offensive line in free agency. They return more than enough of last year’s cast, much of which is still just scratching the surface of their prime.” -Jason La Canfora, via CBS NFL"
How tough will the AFC North competition be for the Cincinnati Bengals?
The AFC North competition will be pretty tight. Each team has many strengths, but some teams have consistently been the best in the league for several years.
Despite that, the Bengals have enough talent to beat each of the three teams they directly face in the AFC North division. One of the teams they face, the Baltimore Ravens, is developing to be stronger than ever, which would give the Bengals solid competition.
The Pittsburgh Steelers are one of those teams that even in their down years, they’re still good. They had an aging Ben Roethlisberger as their quarterback last season yet the team still scratched and clawed their way to the playoffs. The Bengals can beat them, and they proved that last year with a sweep of the Steelers, but this may be their most difficult AFC North competition.
The Cleveland Browns are in a difficult position this upcoming season. They recently traded for quarterback Deshaun Watson, which was a risky move considering the recent lawsuits and could force him to sit out a chunk of the season. This season for the Browns may be unpredictable, which could be beneficial for the Bengals.
Overall, the AFC North has some tight competition and the Bengals will have to continue to work their hardest to be on top again. However, their team is highly talented and there’s a strong possibility they will recreate their success from last season.
Best of luck to the Bengals this season!