A confession must be made. I worry that I'm not taking the Bengals 2009 schedule seriously enough. In my mind, there's no reason to fret about such a thing right now. But off in the horizon, sitting there idly, like a menacing monster that you can eventually have to confront. Kind of like having to deal with your parents, even though of all the scenarios going through your mind to intercept the report card, you'd have to deal with it sooner or later.
Here's the deal. Cincinnati will face the New England Patriots, San Diego Chargers, New York Jets, Indianapolis Colts and New Orleans Saints to go along with division rivals the Pittsburgh Steelers and Baltimore Ravens.
I believe that Cincinnati has as likely a chance to win a playoff berth this year, as I could ultimately see the Bengals struggling against the top-tier teams on our schedule. Since 2003, the Bengals are 3-11 against the Patriots, Saints, Chargers, Jets and Colts. Further broken down, the Bengals are 0-3 against the Colts and Patriots respectively and are 1-4, including a playoff loss against the Jets. Guess what? The Bengals play the Colts, Patriots and the Jets at their respective ballparks. During that same time, the Steelers have won 10 of their 13 meetings against Cincinnati, including the 2005 Wild Card win.
I'm confident Cincinnati will give 'em all hell. But it's a hellish schedule.
But alas, I'm not one to make actual predictions. Afterall, I'm the guy that predicted ten wins in 2008, not 2009. Based on that fact, my prediction this year will apply for 2011, a year that we might not have football at all.