The Cincinnati Bengals' quest to be crowned Super Bowl champions begins in September 2023 and will hopefully end with them hoisting the Lombardi Trophy for the first time in franchise history next February.
To do that, the Bengals will have to get past the opponents on their 2023 regular season schedule. As we've seen the past couple of years, Cincinnati can start slow but as long as they're hot heading into the playoffs, they can't be ruled out to go on a run that ends with them as one of the final two teams standing.
With the announcement of the 2023 NFL regular season schedule and knowing the Bengals' path to a third-straight playoff appearance, let's take our best guess at predicting how each game could go.
I'll preface this by saying that I can't foresee any potential injuries coming for either team. Obviously the Bengals without Joe Burrow aren't nearly as scary and the Chiefs aren't as scary without Patrick Mahomes and Travis Kelce and the Bills aren't the same team without Josh Allen. I'll make these predictions assuming that everyone is healthy.
Week 1 @ Cleveland Browns
For the first time in the Joe Burrow era of Bengals football, the good guys will start the season on the road. This is a huge test for the Bengals in the first week of the season, as the Browns have been a royal thorn in their side.
While the Bengals did finally knock off the Browns later in the 2022 season, as cheesy as the saying "You can throw out the records when these two teams get together" is, it applies here. The Browns have improved this offseason and they've been a pain even with less talent.
Unfortunately, with the Bengals' tendency to start the season off slowly and the Browns' habit of somehow playing their best ball against Cincinnati, I have to pick against the stripes here.