The Cincinnati Bengals have had their moments this season.
Following a difficult 0-2 start in games Cincinnati really had no business losing, they ended that record with a 15-point win over the Jets and a 12-point win over the Dolphins, two victories that have been looking even more impressive recently.
The Bengals then lost to Baltimore and won two straight against the Saints and Falcons. With these last two battles, which pushed their record to 5-4, they split the results with a win over the Panthers and a loss to Cleveland.
The biggest problem Cincinnati will face isn’t its record right now, but rather the teams on the schedule in the future. The Bengals have the Steelers up next, but they will have one of the most difficult schedules in the league through the back half.
Tennessee, Kansas City, Cleveland with Deshaun Watson, Tampa Bay, New England, Buffalo and Baltimore line their second half. That is six games against teams that could contend for the Super Bowl.
While obvious, this stretch will make-or-break the Bengals' season. Without Chidobe Awuzie, who tore his ACL against the Browns, Cincinnati will be without their No. 1 cornerback for the rest of the season.
Thankfully, the Bengals should be getting DJ Reader back soon, and that should drastically enhance their round defense which has struggled as of late. Nonetheless, to make the playoffs, Cincinnati will need to at least by .500.
The Steelers were the No. 7 team in the AFC last season and had a 9-8-1 record. Right now, the Bengals' win percentage sits 8th in the AFC, with three teams in the AFC East topping them.
That said, knowing what we know now, do you think the Bengals make the playoffs in 2022?
Will the Bengals make the playoffs?
This poll is closed
Of course, they’re resilient
Ah, tough schedule