Fresh off of a run to the Super Bowl, the Bengals are heading into the 2022 season with an unsatisfied hunger. It’s weird, considering this time last year the team was coming off of a 4-11-1 season with Joe Burrow recovering from a torn up knee. And that tells me one thing – the NFL is unpredictable. It’s why it isn’t a foregone conclusion that these Bengals will be back in the Super Bowl. But…maybe?
If you’re listening to a lot of national media, you may let them trick you into thinking 2021 was a fluke for the city of Cincinnati. “It was luck” or “it was them being so healthy” you may hear. However, anyone who has watched any considerable amount of football in their lifetime should know that all teams that have participated in the Super Bowl have been both healthy and lucky! The NFL isn’t an easy league to win in and flukes do not last 21 games long.
And today, I dive into the first of a four part series with way-too-early game by game predictions. With that said, the Bengals have their chance to run it back. A favorable September schedule has the Bengals hosting their biggest rival to start.
Week 1: vs Pittsburgh
Logan Vaughn: Despite horrible play out of Big Ben in 2021, the Steelers still managed to finish 9-7-1 and sneak into the postseason. However, I don’t think they got all that much better at QB with the additions of Mitchell Trubisky and Kenny Pickett. Still, the Steelers always find a way to keep these games ugly and close. But the Bengals, who swept them in 2021, come out hot and ready for resurgence. The Joe’s enjoy life behind their new offensive line and start the season off with a 31-16 win. Record: 1-0
Week 2: @ Dallas
Logan Vaughn: Originally when I saw this game was going to be played so early in the season, I had my doubts about the team leaving Dallas with a win. But what gives the Bengals the edge here is consistency. The Cowboys have weeks when they look like a 14-3 team and weeks when they look like a 3-14 team. Losing Amari Cooper will hurt them in this one, and Ja’Marr Chase goes for 200 yards. The Bengals offense coasts the team to a 30-24 win. Record: 2-0
Week 3: @ NY Jets
Logan Vaughn: The Jets had one of the best offseasons in the entire league for a second year in a row in my opinion. The results weren’t always there in 2021, but they did beat the Bengals. Which is exactly why they will NOT beat them this time around. The Bengals now know what the Jets are capable of and Zac Taylor has taken a huge leap since the 2021 loss to them. The defense puts on a swarming display on their way to 3 interceptions. Cincinnati wins again, 27-13. Record: 3-0
Week 4: vs Dolphins
Logan Vaughn: Siri, how do I predict a 4-0 Bengals start without coming off as a homer? I think this game will be one of the tougher games on the first half of the schedule. The edge? Home field advantage on a short week. Oh, and quarterback. Joe Burrow inserts himself atop the MVP talks and puts the team on his back much like he did against Jacksonville on TNF in 2021. Bengals win under the lights, 27-20. Record: 4-0