The Cincinnati Bengals are now no strangers to the playoffs and the big moments that await them there. Last year they were the hunters but this year, they're undoubtedly the hunted.
During the Bengals' magical run to the Super Bowl in the 2022 playoffs, the team had to eke out close wins against the Raiders, the Titans, and the Chiefs. Now that they've been in this exact same situation just a year ago, I have a bold prediction for this team as they enter the postseason.
Bengals bold prediction for 2023 playoffs
Before I dive into the bold prediction, to get to where I think this moment happens, the team first needs to take care of business against the Baltimore Ravens this Sunday night at Paycor Stadium. Once they do that, their likely matchup in the AFC Divisional Round the following weekend will come against the Buffalo Bills in their home stadium.
These two teams were supposed to square off in Week 17 but Damar Hamlin collapsed and the game ended up getting canceled. It was the right call for both teams not to play the game but the stripes ended up getting punished for doing the right thing, as they later were eliminated from having any shot at the No. 1 seed.
That brings me to my bold prediction for the Bengals.
My bold prediction is that this fired up Bengals squad will march into Orchard Park and not only beat the Bills but will do so handily. This would then advance them to the AFC Championship Game where anything is on the table.
The reason why I think the Bengals will curb-stomp the Bills in the divisional round is that Cincinnati has been playing out of their freaking minds down the stretch while the Bills haven't looked their best. The Patriots hung around in that Week 18 contest and it took multiple turnovers and two magnificient kick returns from Nyheim Hines for them to win that game.
Yes, this game will be on Buffalo's home field but the Bengals have proven that they're not intimidated by opposing stadiums and fan bases. That won't phase them. They moved down the field with ease against Buffalo on the first and only drive we got to see from the offense so I feel comfortable that they can do that frequently in this "rematch" as well.
The Bengals are also going to be motivated to stick it to the NFL after they gave them the short end of the stick with the playoff scenario.
Some might think this is a crazy prediction but I'm not sold on the Bills making a deep run in the playoffs, especially now that they have to face Cincinnati in the divisional round. Give me the Bengals by double digits in that game.