The Bengals are right where we expected them to be (actually better)

Coming into the season, the general consensus was:

Week 1: @ BAL ... LOSS
Week 2: ATL ... WIN
Week 3: TEN ... WIN
Week 5: @ NE ... LOSS
Week 6: CAR ... WIN
Week 7: @ IND ... LOSS

So the general consensus was three tough road games, likely all losses.
Based on that pre-season consensus, the Bengals were looking at 3-3 to start the season.
Instead, the Bengals are 3-2-1, which is better than the pre-season predictions. That is good.

Continuing with the pre-season predictions, the Bengals’ would split with BAL, and sweep a 3-game home stand.

Week 8: BAL ... WIN
Week 9: JAX ... WIN
Week 10 : CLE ... WIN

That would put the Bengals at 6-3 based on the most pre-season estimates.

5 of the final 7 are then on the road, plus a home against Denver.
Guessing they would go 2-3 on the road, plus split 1-1 at home, that would give them a 3-4 finish.
Added to that 6-3 start, and the general consensus was a 9-7 finish. Plus or Minus a game.


Ok, so in the first 7 weeks instead of being 3-3, we are actually better, at 3-2-1.
So the Bengals have a better record at week 7 than most expected, based on pre-season projections.
This is a GOOD thing.

The next 3 games at home include Baltimore (who we can beat), J’ville (who everybody can beat), and Cleveland (who can be beaten).

So that pre-season prediction of a 3-game sweep seems in line.
So that would give the Bengals a 6-2-1 record.
That is better than the expected 6-3 record.
That is good.

Next, the following 3 road games suddenly look a lot easier than predicted pre-season.

Week 11 : @ NO
Week 12 : @ HOU
Week 13 : @ TB

Those 3 teams are a combined 6-12 on the season.
New Orleans and Tampa Bay are struggling mightily.
And Houston has had their problems.
And there is no reason to think that Cincy couldn’t take 2 of those games, if not even all 3.

Assuming they can win 2 of those very winnable games, that bumps the record up to 8-3-1.
That is better than what was expected pre-season
That is good.

Week 14 : PIT
Week 15 : @ CLE
Week 16 : DEN
Week 17 : @ PIT

Of the final 4 games, they have 2 against PIT, who doesn’t look as good as was expected pre-season. They could be out of contention by then, and playing backups (especially week 17).
Denver at home will be difficult, but Peyton’s late season struggles in cold weather are well documented (and Dec 22 in Cincy could be a frigid night).
It’s not unrealistic to think the Bengals can take 2 of those final 4.
If they do, that would put them at least at 10-5-1, which would all but ensure a playoff spot.

Most Pre-Season estimates, looking at all of the games, would have given Cincy a 9-7 record.

But based on how the Bengals have done so far, and looking at how their opponents are shaping up this season, it’s reasonable to expect that they end up with at least 10 wins or more.

So before anybody jumps off a bridge, just remember that the Bengals are still on pace for a playoff appearance, and are actually doing better than many expected they’d be at this point in the season. And they are on this better-than-expected pace while many of their key players (AJ Green, Marvin Jones, Tyler Eifert, Vontaze Burfict, Zeitler) have missed multiple games already this year, and with their kicker unable to hit the broad side of a barn.

All things considered, they’re where we expected them to be back in August.

This is a FanPost and does not necessarily reflect the views of Cincy Jungle's writers or editors. It does reflect the views of this particular fan, which is as important as the views of Cincy Jungle's writers or editors.