The Cincinnati Bengals enter the 2023 regular season as perennial Super Bowl contenders and for good reason. Most of their team from the past two seasons is returning and they're now more determined than ever to get over the hump and win the big game.
Pro Football Focus' season simulator doesn't seem to have super high expectations for the Bengals, as they had them finishing 10-7 in the latest simulation.
Let's break down how the simulation went for the Stripes.
Bengals PFF game simulator for 2023 season
- Week 1 @ Browns: 26-22 Win
- Week 2 vs Ravens: 21-15 Win
- Week 3 vs Rams: 25-17 Win
- Week 4 @ Titans: 16-3 Win
- Week 5 @ Cardinals: 20-13 Win
- Week 6 vs Seahawks: 10-29 Loss
- Week 8 @ 49ers: 23-20 Win
- Week 9 vs Bills: 27-30 Loss
- Week 10 vs Texans: 27-28 Loss
- Week 11 @ Ravens: 23-26 Loss
- Week 12 vs Steelers: 14-29 Loss
- Week 13 @ Jaguars: 20-22 Loss
- Week 14 vs Colts: 22-21 Win
- Week 15 vs Vikings: 11-10 Win
- Week 16 @ Steelers: 23-19 Win
- Week 17 @ Chiefs: 9-23 Loss
- Week 18 vs Browns: 25-20 Win
Fans would be elated to see the Bengals start the season 5-0 and it's not farfetched at all for them to do so if they can get past the Browns and Ravens. The next three teams on the schedule aren't intimidating at all so those should be three wins for the Stripes.
After a surprise loss to the Seahawks, the Bengals get back on the right track with a big win over the Niners, but then it all falls apart. They go on to lose their next five games to sit at 6-6 after a 5-0 start. That'd be a huge disappointment for this team.
They finish the season winning four of their final five games but the 10-7 finish might not be enough to win the division, especially after they split the series with the Ravens and the Steelers.
PFF projected Joe Burrow to throw for 4,639 yards, 28 touchdowns, and 10 interceptions while running for 308 yards. These probably aren't good enough touchdown numbers for an MVP title. Joe Mixon, however, dashes for 1,032 yards and finishes with over 1,500 yards from scrimmage so that'd be an improvement.
Ja'Marr Chase is the only receiver to finish with over 1,000 yards, as Tee Higgins comes up just shy with 986 and Tyler Boyd has 700 yards exactly.
A 10-7 record in the AFC North probably isn't good enough to win the division so let's hope that if the Bengals start off hot for once that they don't squash their opportunity to win the AFC with a midseason flop.