Now that the 2022 season is in the rearview it’s time to look forward to the 2023 season. Is it too early to predict the Cincinnati Bengals' record for the 2023 season? Maybe, but we are going to do it anyway.
In 2023 the Bengals will have a bit of an easier time than they did in 2022. Well, as long as you go by their strength of schedule for 2023. Cincy’s 2023 opponents went 146-140-2 in their 2022 campaigns.
That puts our boys’ strength of schedule 17th overall in the NFL field. In 2022 they had the third hardest schedule. Even with the tougher schedule the good guys went all the way to the AFC Championship game, not too shabby. From that standpoint, having a positive outlook on the upcoming season makes sense.
Granted the Bengals will probably lose one key piece if not more during this offseason. As long as Cincy has Burrow they can remain competitive. Plus, Cam Taylor-Britt or Dax Hill would make a fine starter in place of Bates if he ends up leaving.
How will the Bengals fare in 2023?
Cincy plays the AFC South and the NFC West. The South was hot garbage last year. The Texans and Colts still rebuilding, the Titans are on a decline, and only the Jags remain competitive in this division.
The Titans can be competitive, but Ryan Tannehill has hit his ceiling and Derrick Henry isn’t as dominant as he once was. The NFC West will be a tougher test. The 49ers should still be in championship form, and the Seahawks surprised everyone last year.
Maybe Geno Smith takes a step back, or they go with another quarterback entirely, but the good thing about that game is it’ll be in the Jungle. The Cardinals will be rebuilding with their new head coach, and depending on how the Rams come back from all their injuries, they could be challenging, or maybe their tactic of going all in a few years ago has finally caught up to them.
The Bengals should run through the AFC South, since the 49ers game is in San Fran I can see them going either way. For those eight games, I predict Cincy going 7-1. The one-off inter-conference match this year is against the Vikings.
This will be tough, especially if our guys play them at noon on a Sunday. If they’re lucky enough to get Primetime Kirk Cousin it’ll be an easy win. Either way, Cincy should win this contest, especially since it is in the Jungle.
Being a division winner one prize is getting to play the other division winners in the AFC. The Jags were mentioned above, they will also play the Bills and Chiefs. Both of these games can go either way.
In the postseason the Bengals pounded the Bills in Buffalo. There is still enough talent to give the Bengals a run for their money. As to not get too overzealous about next season we’ll say the Bengals lose both of these games.
This puts their record at 8-3 with the divisional games to predict. The Browns made a massive mistake signing Deshaun Watson. The rust and personal issues were clearly too much for him to overcome.
They sweep the Browns for the first time under Burrow. The Steelers are always tough, it’s a safe bet to predict a split and each team wins their home game against the other. The Ravens are a tricky team to predict.
There are many question marks surrounding Lamar Jackson’s future in Baltimore. Just recently he added fuel to the flame by liking a post from the Carolina Panthers on Twitter. If he is not in the purple and gold in 2023 the Bengals should sweep Baltimore. Most likely he gets franchise tagged for a year.
With that thinking, it’s likely the Bengals and Ravens beat each other at each other’s places. This brings the Bengals' overall record for 2023 to 12-5. Reasonable to consider since it appears the AFC will be beating each other up for many years to come., so 12 wins would be excellent.
What do you think? Do you think the Bengals will have more or less wins next season?