The Cincinnati Bengals know the path they have to take to reach the playoffs for a third straight season. Funny enough, the season is book-ended with games against the Cleveland Browns, a team that has notoriously had Cincy's number in recent years.
We're not here to talk about the tough games, however. For this article, we'll be looking at the "easiest" path for the Bengals in 2023. When do the easiest games for the team come?
Now it's worth noting that there truly is no "easy" game in the NFL. There's the old saying "Any given Sunday", which means that the worst team in the league can take down the best team in the league if that good team isn't on their A-game that week. Crazy things happen in sports.
When is the easiest part of the Bengals' 2023 schedule?
The Bengals hit the easy portion of their schedule early on, as they host the Los Angeles Rams in Week 3 on Monday Night Football. The Rams might have won the Super Bowl less than two years ago but they sold the farm to do so and now look to be in rebuilding mode for the first time in Sean McVay's head coaching tenure.
The Bengals will be itching to get their revenge on the Rams for beating them in Super Bowl LVI so that makes this game even more appealing. Sure, Matthew Stafford is still a good quarterback but injuries derailed his 2022 season. This should be a game that Cincy can win with ease.
The next week is a road game against the Tennessee Titans, who also were a good team in the 2021 season, securing the No. 1 seed in the AFC that year. The Bengals stunned them in Nashville and then managed to grind out a win against the Titans again last year. Needless to say, Tennessee will be hoping to finally get the Bengals monkey off their back.
Tennessee isn't necessarily a bad team but they fell apart down the stretch last year with injuries to Ryan Tannehill and Derrick Henry completely destroying their season. This could end up being a tough game for Cincinnati, especially with it coming early in the year where the stripes aren't at their best, but it's a winnable game for sure.
The final game on this "easy" stretch of games comes on the road against the Arizona Cardinals. Lou Anarumo almost was hired as the head coach of the Cardinals but fortunately they went in a different direction. Arizona doesn't have much hope for the 2023 season and Kyler Murray might still be sidelined with the injury he sustained late in the 2022 campaign, making this an easier game on paper for the good guys.
What do you think, Bengals fans? Is this the easiest stretch of games for the Cincinnati Bengals in 2023 or would you go with a different set of games?