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NFL Cincinnati Bengals

Nick Lachey Believes Cincinnati Bengals Are Team to Beat in AFC North Next Season

(Kelvin Kuo/USA Today Sports)

When it comes to the Cincinnati Bengals, Nick Lachey knows his stuff as he’s remained a fan of his favorite team over the years–despite all of the seasons of heartbreak in which the team was the laughing stock of the league. The 98 Degrees member was recently a guest on First Take in which he was asked his opinion on the Bengals heading into the 2013 season and after two consecutive playoff appearances–Lachey believes Cincinnati is the team to beat in the AFC North this season.

As crazy as it sounds–Lachey may be right.

Nobody gave the Bengals much of a shot over the last two seasons, but they’ve managed to reach the playoffs in each of the last two seasons thanks to a steller defense along with the emergence of Andy Dalton and A.J. Green on offense. Even if they failed to make it past Wild Card Weekend both seasons, 2013 may finally be the year of the Bengals in the AFC North considering the Pittsburgh Steelers and Baltimore Ravens may be going through some adjustments of their own after all of the key players lost this offseason.

While the defense should remain near the top of the league assuming their key players stay healthy, Dalton and Green seem like the type of players that are only going to get better with more experience–which has set the bar high for next season.

When compared to other celebrities who just jump on the bandwagon for whatever team seems to be the most popular, Lachey has always been praised for his knowledge not only as a Bengals fan, but a sports fan in general. So if Lachey strongly believes the Bengals will win the AFC North next season–we should probably listen to him.

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