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Bengals given 3rd-best chance to win Super Bowl

Possible opponents include 49ers and Eagles.

NFL: JUL 28 Cincinnati Bengals Training Camp Photo by Ian Johnson/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Bob Dylan said it best - “The times they are a-changin’.”

There was a time, not so very long ago when fans got excited whenever the Cincinnati Bengals found their way into the national media in a positive way. But today, fans expect so much more.

This is a team that barely missed a Super Bowl title just two years ago and that made its way to its second straight AFC Championship game last year before losing a hotly-contested game to the eventual Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs.

So when gave the Bengals the third-best odds (tied with the Buffalo Bills) of advancing to the Super Bowl this season, not all of us were happy. Because we have learned to expect more. As some people have suggested, anything short of a Super Bowl title would be a failure.

Third-best probably became second best when the Kansas City Chiefs, the team that was given the best chance to win it all this year, were upset by the Detroit Lions on Thursday night.

Of course, it’s still early, and Cincinnati still has a lot of business to take care of. And it all starts with the Cleveland Browns tomorrow afternoon.

But if the Bengals do make it all the way back to their second Super Bowl in five years, just who do the experts expect to represent the NFC?

Judy Battista, Bobby Kownack, and Adam Rank all pick the San Francisco 49ers as Cincinnati’s opponent. And they all call it for the Bengals.

“Two teams loaded with talent that have gotten oh so close face off for all the marbles,” Battista says. “The winner is the one with the better quarterback.”

And that, of course, would be Cincinnati, which just recently signed quarterback Joe Burrow to the richest contract in the history of the NFL.

Marcas Grant and Lance Zierlein both have the Eagles going back to the Super Bowl for the second year in a row, with the Bengals still coming out on top.

“Joe “Shiesty” Burrow is able to add “Super Bowl champion” to his résumé,” Zierlein predicts, “while Jalen Hurts has to go back to the drawing board once again after another oh-so-close loss in the finale.”

It’s a long season, so hold on tight. We’re going to be in for quite the ride.