For 54 years, I have been a faithful follower of the Bengals. I have stayed with them through the good times and the bad.
In that inaugural season, I watched Paul Robinson rush for 1,023 yards and be named the AFL Rookie of the Year. Two years later, the AFL merged with the NFL and divided into two conferences, the AFC and the NFC. That year, Cincinnati won the first AFC Central Division title with a record of 8-6. Needless to say, optimism was through the roof.
The Bengals won the division title again in 1973 with a record of 10-4, and finished the 1975 season at 11-3. Unfortunately, the Pittsburgh Steelers won the division with a record of 12-2 record and went on to win the Super Bowl.
Cincinnati went to the Super Bowl after the 1981 and 1988 seasons, and held the lead in the final minutes of both games before eventually falling to the San Francisco 49ers.
Then came the lost decade of the 90s where the Bengals put together a record of 55-137 and became the laughingstock of the NFL. It was during this period that Cincinnati earned the moniker “the Bungles.”
Marvin Lewis managed to turn things around a little after he took over in 2003 and the Bengals won four division titles over the next 13 years. Even so, by the time Lewis left in 2018, Cincinnati had gone 28 years without winning a playoff game.
All of that changed, of course, with the Bengals’ storybook run to Super Bowl LVI this past season, and not even the 23-20 loss to the Los Angeles Rams could dampen the enthusiasm we all feel going into the 2022-2023 season.
In the offseason, Cincinnati addressed its most glaring weakness from last year when it completely rebuilt its offensive line. Free-agent acquisitions at right tackle, right guard and center, along with a hulking rookie at left guard should help keep quarterback Joe Burrow upright and allow an ultra-talented offense to become one of the highest-scoring attacks in football.
Cincinnati also built up its defense with the addition of first-round defensive back Daxton Hill and second-round cornerback Cameron Taylor-Britt, and the return to health of a couple of elite performers along the defensive line. And, as we all know, a better defense leads to an even better offense.
With all of that said, look for the Cincinnati Bengals to repeat as AFC North champions, and keep reading to see just how far they will go as I endeavor to predict the best-case scenario of every game, right up through the NFL playoffs.
Bengals Schedule Predictions 2022
Week 1 – vs Pittsburgh Steelers
Prediction: Bengals 28, Steelers 14
Week 2 – @ Dallas Cowboys
Prediction: Bengals 35, Cowboys 21
Week 3 – @ New York Jets
Prediction: Bengals 28, Jets 10
Week 4 – vs Miami Dolphins
Prediction: Bengals 31, Dolphins 17
Week 5 – @ Baltimore Ravens
Prediction: Bengals 28, Ravens 17
Week 6 – @ New Orleans Saints
Prediction: Bengals 35, Saints 14
Week 7 – vs Atlanta Falcons
Prediction: Bengals 28, Falcons 10
Week 8 – @ Cleveland Browns
Prediction: Bengals 28, Browns 14
Week 9 – vs Carolina Panthers
Prediction: Bengals 35, Panthers 13
Week 10 – Bye
Week 11 – @ Pittsburgh Steelers
Prediction: Bengals 21, Steelers 10
Week 12 – @ Tennessee Titans
Prediction: Bengals 27, Titans 17
Week 13 – vs Kansas City Chiefs
Prediction: Chiefs 27, Bengals 24 (overtime)
Week 14 – vs Cleveland Browns
Prediction: Bengals 35, Browns 10
Week 15 – @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Prediction: Buccaneers 31, Bengals 28
Week 16 – @ New England Patriots
Prediction: Bengals 28, Patriots 17
Week 17 – vs Buffalo Bills
Prediction: Bills 28, Bengals 27
Week 18 – vs Baltimore Ravens
Prediction: Bengals 31, Ravens 14
Final regular-season record: 14-3 and 1st place in the AFC North
Wild Card Round
No. 5 Chargers 28, No. 4 Titans 24
No. 3 Chiefs 35, No. 6 Ravens 28
No. 2 Bills 24, No. 7 Miami 21
No. 5 Cardinals 27, No. 4 Cowboys 20
No. 6 Lions 20, No. 3 Packers 19
No. 2 Rams 31, No. 7 Eagles 28
AFC - No. 1 Bengals 30, No. 5 Chargers 28
No. 2 Bills 37, No. 3 Chiefs 35
NFC - No. 1 Buccaneers 25, No. 6 Lions 10
No. 2 Rams 27, No. 5 Cardinals 25
AFC Championship Game
Bengals 28, Bills 27
NFC Championship Game
Buccaneers 24, Rams 21
Super Bowl LVII
Location: State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Arizona
Date: February 12, 2023
Prediction: Bengals 31, Buccaneers 24
Oh how sweet it is!