Predicting the Bengals next five games after Week 10 BYE

Carolina Panthers v Cincinnati Bengals
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Week 14 vs Cleveland Browns

Let's say it how it is -- The Bengals are due for a win sooner or later against the Cleveland Browns, who have had their number for about 2-3 years. This will be a very important late-season game, especially if they lose to the Chiefs because dropping two games in a row would hurt their chances within the division and the playoff race down the season's stretch.

It wouldn't end their season, but it would put them in a much more sour spot where there isn't much margin for error to lose games. Cincinnati roughly has a three-game window. This means if they lose any more than three games after the bye week, the odds for them to make the playoffs with a 9-8 record in the AFC are slim to none.

The Browns are simply a bad matchup for the Bengals. Nick Chubb seems like he is their kryptonite with how he runs the ball but Reader and Tupou should drastically help that issue. They may not solve it, but they would be key guys to get back in the fold for the defensive line.

Prediction: Bengals win 20-10

Week 15 at Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Determining what Buccaneers team the Bengals will see in Week 15 is hard to predict. They have had as up and down of a season as a team can have so far. However, if their offense remains crippled, which don't anticipate too, they will struggle to keep up with a high-powered Cincinnati offense that can put points on the board quickly.

The Bucs do have a good defense but losing Shaq Barrett is a piece that will hurt the Bengals, who struggle against elite pass rushers. However, if Tampa Bay can become a more high-volume and consistent offense, this game could favor the Bucs very well.

Doing these predictions now, it looks like this is a game the Cincinnati Bengals can win, especially if Ja'Marr Chase and D.J. Reader are back in full form by this game.

Prediction: Bengals win 21-17

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If these predictions come true, the Bengals will be 9-5 after Week 15, which would hopefully put them on track to compete for a playoff spot.