The NFL hasn’t released the schedule for 2018 yet, but we know who the Bengals will be playing.
We also know that the Bengals may end up having one of the easiest schedules in 2018, according to CBS Sports. They did this by basing it on the record of the teams’ on the schedule for every team in 2018. When they did the math, the Bengals end up tied for third with the Raiders.
The combined record for the teams the Bengals will be facing in 2018 is 121-135 for a win percentage of .473. It is good to hear that the Bengals may have an easy road to turning this thing around next season.
Of course, the Bengals still reside in one of the toughest divisions in football having to face the Steelers and Ravens twice a season. Plus, at least one of those teams is usually high up in the standings every season, so it makes it that much harder to win the division.
Also, the Browns have a new general manager who could attempt to cash in all the assets that money ball was saving up, so we can’t rule them as an automatic win again.
The Bengals will also be playing a few playoff teams from last season, including the Saints, Falcons, Chiefs and Steelers. The Saints and one game against the Steelers will be played in Cincinnati. The Bengals will have to travel to play the other playoff teams.
Last year, they ended up playing five teams that made it to the playoffs. They only won one of those games, and it was against the Bills. They also lost to the Steelers twice.
One reason the Bengals rank so low in strength of schedule is playing the Browns twice a year, and since it is based on last year’s records, then the Browns add an 0-32 to the equation for this year.
They also rank lower than the Ravens (11th weakest) and Steelers (seventh weakest) because while the Ravens play the Colts and the Steelers play the Jaguars, the Bengals will be playing the Colts. Although, the Bengals were one miracle play created by Carlos Dunlap away from losing that game.
This sort of brings up the obvious point. This strength of schedule is created based on last year’s records, but we are about to watch the NFL radically change over an offseason. We see so many teams go from worst to first and vice versa over an offseason, it is hard to hang your hat on records from last season.
The Bengals opponents’ combined record for next season is 121-135, which seems like they should have a cake walk next season. However, the Bengals opponents’ actual combined record for last season was 119-137.
See, it doesn’t matter how easy your opponents are on paper if your team doesn’t come to play consistently. Some people may say they were beat up on by good teams last year, but this is proof they really weren’t.
In fact, they beat two of the better teams at the end of last season. The losses to the Texans, Packers and Bears were killers for the season. The Bengals were in position to win two of those games, and then they got blown out by a bad Bears team.
It is all well and good to get excited about this, but if the Bengals don’t change up a lot of what they do we could be in for another rough season no matter how easy the schedule looks.