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Bengals Bytes (6/27): How difficult is Cincinnati's schedule?

The Bengals schedule looked easy at first, but after the offseason how many of those teams got better?

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Cincinnati Bengals v Baltimore Ravens Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images

Bates driven to succeed
After pointing out the house where his mother grew up downtown, Jessie Bates is driving his beloved fire-engine red 2008 Dodge Charger past that emerald wedge of a Class A ball park in the middle of his equally beloved city the other day when he mentions with an off-hand-oh-by-the-way flick of the wrist that he’s throwing out the first pitch next week at Parkview Field.

Bengals CB Dre Kirkpatrick explains why NFL QBs don’t throw many picks anymore
If you take a look at the NFL’s all-time interception leaders, you’ll see names like Paul Krause, Rod Woodson, Ken Riley, Emlen Tunnell, Richard ‘Night Train’ Lane, and Dick LeBeau in the top 10. You know what you won’t find? Active players. There’s not an active NFL player on the list until you scroll all the way down to the guy ranked in a tie for 67th. That’s Terence Newman, who has 42 interceptions in his 15th year and counting NFL career.

The Bengals Actually Have a Difficult Schedule
The Cincinnati Bengals, by virtue of finishing third in the division last season, should get an easier schedule. Aside from the division rivals (twice), an AFC division, and an NFC division, the Bengals get to play the third-place teams of the two other AFC divisions. In theory, this should make the Bengals’ schedule easier. When the NFL announced all the games, the team’s schedule actually ranked as the eighth easiest. On the surface, this is great, but a deeper dive reveals this schedule is actually pretty difficult.

Can the Bengals win 10 games in 2018?
The Cincinnati Bengals view themselves as win-now contenders, an idea reinforced by the string of offseason moves after retaining head coach Marvin Lewis. As seems to always be the case lately, the roster looks talented enough to compete for a playoff spot, with much of the team’s success hinging on the availability of players and coaching.

Bengals stars spending summer break giving back to community
The Cincinnati Bengals have some vacation time off before training camp gets underway, yet that hasn’t stopped Preston Brown and Darqueze Dennard from giving back. Rather than getting away from the public eye and enjoying the quiet before the storm, both guys have been hard at work in various communities through different mean

Fanalytics: NFL Fan and Brand Report 2018 ranks Bengals 26th
Bengals fans won't appreciate this, but an analysis of NFL fandom shared annually by Michael Lewis known as Fanalytics ranks fans of the Cincinnati Bengals 26th of 32 overall, and 27th in fan equity. The Bengals rank slightly better in social equity (21st) and road equity (20th).

AFC North Bytes

Antonio Brown Shares Workout Video with Cam Newton in Miami on Instagram
Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton and Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown have joined forces, if only briefly. The two have been working out this offseason, sharing some of their exploits on social media

The Browns set the record for 1st-round NFL Draft busts in just 3 years
The first round of the NFL Draft is where franchises are built. Teams like the Steelers, Eagles, and Falcons have developed into postseason contenders thanks to savvy selections with high-value picks each spring. An impact rookie doesn’t just add value on the field, but his low-cost contract also allows a well-managed team to spend money on veterans elsewhere on the roster, building the foundation for long playoff runs.

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Mike Freeman's 10-Point Stance: Do You Trust Jameis Winston?
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Annabel Bowlen, wife of Broncos owner, announces she too has Alzheimer’s
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