1. Difficult Conference
Not only do the Bengals play in the toughest division in the NFL but they play in the more difficult conference as well. In the AFC, the Bengals have to square off against the Bills, Chiefs, and Jaguars this season and might eventually have to play other tough teams such as the Chargers, Dolphins, and Jets in the playoffs.
If the Bengals played in the NFC, their toughest adversaries would be the 49ers and Eagles. That's about it. It's a much tougher path to the Super Bowl in the AFC as there are arguably eight teams good enough to vie for a Super Bowl in the conference.
The good news is that this will make the Bengals tougher and prepare them for a difficult path in the playoffs. There aren't any excuses when you play in the AFC these days and the Bengals have to beat the best in order to be the best.