PFF Simulator predicts an uncharacteristic season for new-era Bengals

Cincinnati Bengals head coach Zac Taylor argues with an official, yelling, \"you can't call that,\"
Cincinnati Bengals head coach Zac Taylor argues with an official, yelling, \"you can't call that,\" / Kareem Elgazzar / USA TODAY NETWORK

The Cincinnati Bengals have reached the AFC Championship Game in back-to-back seasons. Needless to say, not doing so in the 2023 season would be a massive disappointment for Bengals fans.

PFF has a cool feature for subscribers where you can simulate the season and see which games the team wins and loses. The previous PFF sim that I ran was not a kind one to the stripes, as it had them finishing with a 7-10 record despite no major injuries taking place on the offensive side of the ball.

So, what did the most recent sim predict would happen to the Bengals this year?

Latest Bengals PFF sim

  • Week 1 @ Browns: 24-27 Loss
  • Week 2 vs Ravens: 27-14 Win
  • Week 3 vs Rams: 9-3 Win
  • Week 4 @ Titans: 13-3 Win
  • Week 5 @ Cardinals: 23-23 Tie
  • Week 6 vs Seahawks: 34-33 Win
  • Week 8 @ 49ers: 0-28 Loss
  • Week 9 vs Bills: 21-6 Win
  • Week 10 vs Texans: 26-10 Win
  • Week 11 @ Ravens: 13-17 Loss
  • Week 12 vs Steelers: 6-16 Loss
  • Week 13 @ Jaguars: 10-16 Loss
  • Week 14 vs Colts: 37-16 Win
  • Week 15 vs Vikings: 16-13 Win
  • Week 16 @ Steelers: 33-26 Win
  • Week 17 @ Chiefs: 29-43 Loss
  • Week 18 vs Browns: 20-17 Win

PFF simulated a 10-6-1 season for the Bengals, which would probably mean they don't win their division but could still totally result in a playoff berth for the stripes.

I definitely want to dive into a few things here, most notably that shellacking the Bengals are predicted to take in San Francisco which sees them putting up a goose egg. According to the projected stats for the star players on the offensive side of the ball, it wouldn't be shocking if Joe Burrow missed a few games with that matchup being one of those games.

Burrow finishes the season with some nice numbers (4,551 yards, 21 touchdowns, and nine interceptions while rushing for 761 yards and five scores) but they wouldn't be what fans were expecting. The touchdowns through the air would be a massive drop but apparently he's going to become Josh Allen with his running abilities this year.

Ja'Marr Chase also doesn't ball out as much this year, as Tee Higgins and Tyler Boyd both finish the season with more yards than him. Higgins finishes with 1,047 yards, Boyd with 784, and Chase with 758. This would have to mean that Chase is injured for several games.

The good news is that Joe Mixon finishes with 1,616 scrimmage yards and six total touchdowns, while Chase Brown has 761 total yards and seven total touchdowns. That'd be solid production from the Bengals' two main running backs.

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Despite the winning record, this would be a disappointing season for the Cincinnati Bengals. Fans have Super Bowl aspirations for this team and 10-6-1 isn't getting them the No. 1 seed, which is something they desperately need to do this year.