If you've looked at this season schedule, which most of you have, it's probably pretty cut and dry that our strength of schedule is very favorable. No more is that seen than the first 4 games: @CLE, @DEN, SF, BUF. 4 WINNABLE games. Winnable and not guaranteed wins because we know how "green" this team is with a new QB, new O.C., a patched up defense, and lack of normal preparation due to the lockout.
However, these first 4 games will dictate the Bengals' season, one way or the other. If we can somehow create an instant chemistry on offense with Dalton at the helm and the defense is rejuvenated with the new additions stepping in and bringing back the intensity of 2 yrs ago, this team can easily goo 3-1 or 4-0 in the first 4 games and carry that momentum the rest of the season. Best Case Scenario: 10-6, wild card.
On the flip side, to play devil's advocate, we can stumble out of the gate where Dalton is just completely stifled by the speed of the pro game, the absence of Cedric Benson takes our running game completely out of the equation, and the pass rush and linebacking core continue last year's disastrous play where teams just marched up and down the field with ease. Anything worse than 2-2 will probably mean doom for the Bengals and the rest of their season because you have Indy, the Ravens and Steelers looming to trounce all over us. Worst Case Scenario: another 4-12 or 3-13 trademark Bungles season ans back to the drawing board.
My prediction? I still stand by that we will fall somewhere in between. 7-9 or 8-8 because there will be a lot of inconsistency with this young team. The future looks promising with the pieces we do have, but I'm one not to go over my head and be a fool thinking this team is headed to the playoffs this season.
Your thoughts? Who dey!!!