The Cincinnati Bengals are gearing up for the second half of the 2022-23 season in the same spot they were in last season.
However, this time they are going to face the toughest schedule in the league.
According to FiveThirtyEight, the Bengals have the largest discrepancy between their first and second half schedule strength.
According to the average pregame Elo ratings of their opponents, the Bengals’ schedule through Week 10 ranked fourth-easiest in the NFL. Now, in the second half, the team will have to go through the hardest remaining schedule in the league. That’s easily the largest swing, in terms of strength of schedule differential between halves of a season, for any team this season. (Entering the year, Cincinnati’s schedule ranked 10th-hardest overall).
Last season, the Bengals faced a tough schedule on the back half, but defeated three of the four playoff teams they faced.
As they enter the playoff push, the Bengals will likely need to finish at least 10-7 in order to have a chance at making it back to the Super Bowl to finish what they started last season.