Cincinnati Bengals Schedule 2013: Predicting the Bengals Season
Cincinnati Bengals 2013 Schedule
The Cincinnati Bengals schedule was released Thursday night by the NFL, showing what is likely to be quite a few difficult match-ups at home. The Bengals play host to five of the 2012 season's playoff teams, each one of them likely to be contenders again this year. Although it's premature to predict match-ups before the draft has been done, an early look at the schedule can give us an idea based on the work that teams have done so far and what they are predicted to take in the draft and what the outcomes will be.
From the word go, the Bengals will face off against one of last years' top contenders that didn't quite make the playoffs — The Chicago Bears and from there will continue on in an uphill battle against some of the NFL's top teams, before they will finally reach a breathing point and will hopefully be able to push through to the Bye week during week 12 on a winning streak. From week six until the bye week, the Bengals should be looking at a majority of wins and with that kind wind under sails, they should be able to continue onto the playoffs
This year, just like many for the Bengals, they have not been handed an easy path to the playoffs. The key for them, however will be to try and get at least two wind out of their first five and perhaps most difficult games, in order for them to be in a comfortable place coming into their easier games.
Here is a slideshow of the predictions of each of the Bengals' 2013 match-ups.
Week 1 - Cincinnati Bengals @Chicago Bears
With the ever-strong A.J Green, the return of new number two Mohamed Sanu back from a foot injury and the (hopeful) addition of Giovani Bernard in the NFL Draft — A pass catching running back, the Bengals offense will be looking to start off the season by making a statement.
The Chicago Bears have assured quarterback Jay Cutler that they will be strengthening the offensive line this offseason, thus giving him more time in the pocket to be as accurate as he really can be, this could wind up being a shoot out.
Unfortunately for the Bengals, the Bears have more offensive weapons and a defense that was almost unparalleled last season, so the shootout will lean in favor of the Bears.
Bengals 24-27 Bears
Week 2 - Pittsburgh Steelers @Cincinnati Bengals
The Pittsburgh Steelers, a once strong team and the top of the division year after year, are practically a shell of what they were two seasons ago. With the release of both Chris Rainey and Rashard Mendenhall in the backfield as well as wide receiver Mike Wallace, they won't be able to do a lot against a defense that seem to be going strength to strength with each passing year. Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger will put up a fight but the youth of the Cincinnati Bengals offense against the ... ahem ... experience of the Steelers defense will be a mismatch and the Bengals will take this home.
Steelers 17 - Bengals 27
Week 3 - Green Bay Packers @Cincinnati Bengals
When it comes to the Green Bay Packers, it's never a question of whether they can score or not, it's more of a question of can the defense do anything to minimize the damage. Unless Geno Atkins and Michael Johnson can keep the pressure up on quarterback Aaron Rodgers all day then the Packers will take this game home early enough.
The Packers defense, although give up a lot of yards, have this uncanny ability to turn the ball over like no other team, so it will be up to Andy Dalton to carefully move the ball down the field in order to be in with a chance of staying in this one.
Packers 35 - 27 Bengals
Week 4 - Cincinnati Bengals @Cleveland Browns
This should be a straight forward game for the Cincinnati Bengals. The Bengals tend to falter offensively when it comes to the Cleveland Browns but the defense will keep Brandon Weeden and Trent Richardson at bay all day long. Expect a low score slog, but a win for Cincinnati.
Bengals 17 - 13 Browns
Week 5 - New England Patriots @Cincinnati Bengals
Since taking over as the New England Patriots quarterback, Tom Brady has beaten the Cincinnati Bengals in each of the four times they have met. Although the Bengals defense have greatly improved since the early days of this small rivalry, it will still be up to Andy Dalton to outscore the Patriots, something that as it stands, is not likely. Unless there is a huge improvement in the offense this year, then the Patriots will be taking a win back to Foxboro once again.
Patriots 31 - 24 Bengals
Week 6 Cincinnati Bengals @Buffalo Bills
Keeping Mario Williams at bay will be the key to walking away with a convincing win in this game. The Buffalo Bills have released starting quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick and will likely take a quarterback in the NFL Draft that is not going to be anything special by week 6. The Buffalo also have the added issue of having one noteworthy receiver in Stevie Johnson, a decent pass catching tight end in Scott Chandler and two running backs that will find it difficult to get anything going against this Bengals defense.
Without much of an offense and a defense in Buffalo, it will be difficult to watch this game (if you're a Bills fan)
Bengals 27 - 17 Bills
Week 7 - Cincinnati Bengals @Detroit Lions
When the Detroit Lions offense clicks, it really clicks and they can score upwards of 30 points a game. Wide receiver Calvin Johnson has an amazing game whatever the day, although quarterback Matthew Stafford had terribly difficulty finding him in the end zone last season and Johnson only walked away with five touchdowns on the season. Even still, Stafford has plenty of other receivers that pick up where Johnson has left off.
The biggest problem, unfortunately, is that the defense allow as many points as Stafford can put away and if the Cincinnati Bengals secondary can do something with Megatron, then they may be in for a long day.
Expect the Lions to go all out at home but lose in a close and probably high scoring game.
Bengals 31 - 27 Lions
Week 8 - New York Jets @Cincinnati Bengals
I've stopped expecting anything from the New York Jets offense, and unless they decide to draft a new quarterback to draft right away, then Mark Sanchez will continue to lead his Jets into the chaos.
If the Jets can get the defense working, then there might be some hope for them. But unless new running backs Chris Ivory and Mike Goodson have career seasons in 2013, then I'd be surprised if they get can pull off a touchdown.
Bengals 24 - 12 Jets
Week 9 - Cincinnati Bengals @Miami Dolphins
By the time week 9 roles around, the Cincinnati Bengals are likely to be on a three game winning streak, and looking strong heading into this game. The Miami Dolphins have the home advantage and have the unknown variable Mike Wallace. His numbers slid over the last few seasons, but it's been quite clear that he wanted out for at least 12 months so a new home and a new start could do wonders for him. Rookie quarterback Ryan Tannehill made a 1,000+ receiver out of Brian Hartline last season. So if this offense starts off the season, well then, the Bengals could be in for a battle.
A win here for Cincinnati but don't expect the Dolphins to take it lying down.
Bengals 24 - 21 Dolphins
Week 10 - Cincinnati Bengals @Baltimore Ravens
The Baltimore Ravens are very difficult to beat at home. Considering the upgrade of their defense in the free agency to move on after the loss of their leader Ray Lewis and his right-hand man Ed Reed to the Houston Texans, there is a major likelihood that they will take measures to improve their defense further with the draft. So Bengals are probably going to find it difficult to move the ball, all day long.
Similarly, however, the Cincinnati Bengals always put it up for the division rivalry's and if Michael Johnson and Geno Atkins come in ready to do what they do best, then quarterback Joe Flacco will find it difficult to get going and the Ravens' offense will be in the same boat as the Bengals.
Bengals 13 - 21 Ravens
Week 11 - Cleveland Browns @Cincinnati Bengals
The Cincinnati Bengals are going to come pumped to their second division rivalry in two weeks and looking to bounce back from a loss in week 10. Considering this one is a home game for the Bengals, the home side will be prepared so the Cleveland Browns don't stand a chance. Andy Dalton should have better luck moving the ball in week 11 than he did when the Bengals played the Browns back in week four. I expect that the Bengals will take an early lead and leave Brandon Weeden to play catch up all day. Thisis set to be a higher scoring game that their first encounter.Browns 21 - 28 Bengals
Week 12 - BYE Week
It's a bit late, of course, but the Cincinnati Bengals their Bye week at an ideal time this year. It comes right after a series of games that they are expected to win and before an uphill climb that will run week 14-17. For the Bengals, the only time that would come as more convenient would be after their week 13 match-up against the San Diego Chargers.
Week 13 - Cincinnati Bengals @San Diego Chargers
The Cincinnati Bengals are coming off their bye week and will be looking like strong contenders to take home the AFC North title. They'll be coming off the back of five wins from their last six games and a break and ready to hit the ground running.
The San Diego Chargers, unfortunately, are the empty husk of a team that were a Super Bowl favorite for years and not enough was done with them to keep them that way. Their pass rush is something that is left to be desired and their offensive line allowed the 4th most sacks at 49 on their quarterback Phillip Rivers. There is too much work for them to do this season, so will not be a big challenge for the Bengals
Bengals 31 - 17 Chargers
Week 14 -Indianapolis Colts @Cincinnati Bengals
The Indianapolis Colts took a huge turn around last year, going from 2-14 to 11-5 in just one season. The tireless efforts of the coaching staff as well as the strong leadership of their rookie quarterback Andrew Luck made for a team that will be challenging for the Super Bowl for years to come.
Luck was sacked 41 times last year and hit the second most in the NFL at 116 and still managed to come away with 11 wins, so with an offensive line upgrade in the draft, Luck will be an even stronger weapon. The Colts will be coming off four wins out of four and looking to steal another from the Cincinnati Bengals, and on this occasion, the ever strengthening Colts will grab a narrow win.
Bengals 24 - 27 Colts
Week 15 - Cincinnati Bengals @Pittsburgh Steelers
With too many holes in the Pittsburgh Steelers offense and defense, they will fall for the second time to the Cincinnati Bengals away. There seems to be too much work for the Steelers to do on both sides of the ball in order to get their team back to their Super Bowl era, and since they ransacked their own offense, they may not be able to put up too much of a fight. The Bengals will be closing in on a division win at this point and will probably be looking at a conservative game.
Bengals 24 - 17 Steelers
Week 16 Minnesota Vikings @Cincinnati Bengals`
Every team says they have a solution for Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson and every team tires themselves out trying to stop him. The Cincinnati Bengals will be no different this and by week 16 will be battered and bruised. The offensive line will also have a hard time keeping out the Vikings pass rush and will make for a difficult day for the Bengals at home.
Vikings 20 - 17 Bengals
Week 17 - Baltimore Ravens @Cincinnati Bengals
It's very possible that this game will be for the NFC North title so the game will be a slow moving and conservative one. But with home-field advantage during this heated division rivalry, the Cincinnati Bengals will take a narrow win here.
Ravens 14 - 17 Bengals
This could be the year that the Cincinnati Bengals take the NFC North. They have quite a few struggles to go up against but if they can keep strong at the beginning of the season then by the end, the Bengals will be looking good going into the bye week which will be the key to their season
Final Result: Bengals 11 - 5. Bengals progress to the post-season