3 nightmare scenarios for Bengals in 2023

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Cleveland Browns v Cincinnati Bengals
Cleveland Browns v Cincinnati Bengals / Kirk Irwin/GettyImages
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The Cincinnati Bengals are a Super Bowl contender in the 2023 season. The team has mostly been able to remain intact and have only improved over the past two years. They also know what it takes to get to a Super Bowl and don't have that whole playoff thing lingering over them anymore.

Unfortunately, sometimes even the best teams succumb to nightmare scenarios. Just look at the Green Bay Packers last year, who went from a team who won 13 games and was atop the NFC standings in the playoffs, to having a losing record and missing out on the postseason the next season.

For the Bengals, here are three nightmare scenarios that fans are hoping do not happen to this team in 2023.

All player stats courtesy of ESPN

3. Run game doesn't improve

The Bengals finished the 2022 season with the fourth-fewest rushing yards, per NFL.com. Joe Mixon wasn't his usual self, seeing dips in total rushing yards, yards per carry, and yards per game, which was obviously a big reason for the Bengals' lackluster rushing attack.

While the team didn't add a running back in free agency or spend a high draft pick on one, they did manage to snag Illinois' Chase Brown in the fifth round. This is a move that excited a lot of Bengals fans because Brown was a really good player for the Fighting Illini in the 2022 season, totaling over 1,800 yards from scrimmage.

The hope is that Mixon reverts back to the 2021 version of himself and that Brown makes people forget who Samaje Perine even is. The nightmare scenario here is that Mixon continues to underperform and Brown struggles to adjust in the offense. This would mean the run game likely underwhelms again and the Bengals offense is at its best when the run game dominates.