The Cincinnati Bengals are heading into the 2022-23 season with a new offensive line and high expectations after their Super Bowl run last season.
Although we are still a little over a month away from knowing the exact schedule, we know the opponents that the Bengals will have next season, and it is one of the toughest schedules in the NFL.
The reigning AFC North and AFC Champions will get all other AFC division winners (Buffalo, Tennessee, Kansas City) as well as two division winners from the NFC (Dallas, Tampa Bay).
NBC Sports’ Warren Sharp calculated each team’s strength of schedule using last year’s records as well as Vegas’ win totals for 2022.
The results showed that the Washington Commanders have the easiest schedule in the NFL with the Bears, Eagles, Colts, and Seahawks rounding out the top 5.
As for the hardest, the Bengals have the 7th hardest schedule in the NFL behind the Chiefs with the hardest followed by the Jets, Rams, 49ers, Raiders, and Steelers.
NEW: NFL strength of schedule for 2022!— Warren Sharp (@SharpFootball) March 31, 2022
5 easiest schedules:
5 hardest schedules:
1-32 with insight & analysis:https://t.co/vsnYUpH4tr
Sharp then took the 2022 forecasted strength of schedule with the 2021 actual strength of schedule to see which teams are in a far better place and which teams are not.
The Bengals came in at No. 32 as in 2021 they played the 3rd easiest schedule and played 11 games vs non-playoff team. In 2022, they face the largest increase in schedule difficulty of any team.
we can compare 2022 forecasted schedule strength with 2021 actual schedule strength to see which teams are in a far better place...— Warren Sharp (@SharpFootball) March 31, 2022
top-5: Commanders, Giants, Bears, Jaguars, Vikings
and which teams are not...
bottom-5: Bengals, Bills, Patriots, Broncos, Rams
full 1-32 pic.twitter.com/38wgZsZ4zk
The AFC is going to be a gauntlet in 2022-23 and the Bengals are in a great position to contend for the Super Bowl despite the massive increase in difficulty of their schedule.