A 2-0 start may not seem like much in the grand scheme of a 16-game season.
For a team like the Bengals coming off four straight playoff appearances, it means they're now favored to extend that streak to five playoff appearances in a row based on the latest predictions from Numbers Fire. The advanced football analytics service now has the Bengals as significant favorites to have a winning season, get to the playoffs and the Bengals are even slightly favored, in their eyes, to win the AFC North.
Here's a look at the Bengals' updated odds and ends from Numbers Fire compared to last week:
Projected Record: 9.54 - 6.46 (Change: 0.39 wins, -0.39 losses)
Playoffs: 61.58% (Change: 3.9%)
Division: 50.5% (Change: 0.72%)
Conference Championship: 11.28% (Change: -0.1%)
Super Bowl: 5.4% (Change: 0%)
Power Rankings: 6 (Last Week: 5)
With a 50.5 percent chance of winning the AFC North, the Bengals basically have a 50/50 shot at winning the division vs someone else. However, the team with the next best odds is the Steelers at 28.8%, over 20% behind Cincinnati.
As for their latest NERD Power Rankings, the Bengals come in at No. 6. Only the Patriots (5) and Broncos (3) are ahead of them in the AFC, which is enough to keep Cincinnati's chances of making the Super Bowl fairly low at 11.28% to win the AFC for a berth in the big game.
What does all of this mean? Not much really, except that there are high expectations being placed on this team after looking impressive in their first two wins.
In my opinion, this team right now is better than any previous team under Marvin Lewis at the time of entering the playoffs. They simply have the kind of balance on offense to go with a good defense that a team needs to make a deep playoff run.
Unfortunately, it's only Week 2, and injuries could very well take a toll on this team between now and January as has been the case in previous years. If somehow the Bengals are able to keep the majority of their roster intact and healthy between now and then, I really believe this could be the team to end their playoff drought.