Wednesday Evening the NFL announced its 2014 regular season schedule.
Now that we know exactly who the Cincinnati Bengals will battle next year, I’ve decided to give you an idea of how the season could play out for the men in black and orange. How does 12-4 sound?
Cincinnati Bengals- 28 Baltimore Ravens- 10
Opening the season against the despised Baltimore Ravens, the Bengals will come out swinging in 2014. Cincinnati’s defense will hold flacco to one touchdown, as they avoid opening a third straight season with a loss.
Cincinnati Bengals- 24 Atlanta Falcons- 21
Ill admit, this game will be a toss-up. Two franchise quarterbacks with much to prove early next season. Atlanta will score points, but the Bengals will pull out the tough win in their home-opener. Even if it is just by a field goal.
Cincinnati Bengals- 28 Tennessee Titans- 3
The Titans are a very inexperienced ball club, with a new head coach. You could almost see the franchise entering another season of rebuilding. The Cincinnati Bengals’ offense will be potent, while their defense dominates a Tennessee offense that ranked just 22nd last season in total yards.
Cincinnati Bengals- 17 New England Patriots- 27
Coming off a long bye week, into a road trip out east to face Brady and company on a Sunday night, Marvin Lewis would have to out-coach Bill Belichick in every aspect for the Bengals to withstand the revenge-seeking Patriots. Belichick being out-coached, on what will probably be a chili night in Foxboro, seems highly unlikely.
Cincinnati Bengals- 35 Carolina Panthers- 20
Yes, Cam Newton is Superman and Carolina did end last season with a 12-4 record. But the Panthers ranked just 29th in passing for the 2013 season. Cam and the Carolina Panther’s rushing attack will move the ball well, but with new Offensive Coordinator Hue Jackson looking to speed up the tempo, the Bengals’ high-powered pace may be too much for this young, developing, offense to run with. Besides, Cincinnati’s defense may bend a little. But they most certainly won’t break.
Cincinnati Bengals- 45 Indianapolis Colts- 42
Each and every time these two teams face one another, it turns into a shootout. Going back to the Peyton Manning days, this AFC battle has never disappointed. Both Andrew Luck and Andy Dalton are coming off disappointing playoff losses. They are two of the best young quarterbacks the NFL has to offer, and they will showcase all their talents in what will definitely be a must-see. I think the Bengals will improve their performance on the road next season, and the defense will get a stop or turnover just in time to secure the win.
Cincinnati Bengals- 13 Baltimore Ravens- 20
After losing in week one, Joe Flacco will rally the troops and come out on top in the rematch of this AFC North rivalry. Baltimore will control the tempo and come away with a season-series split for the third consecutive season. Cincinnati will suffer their first home loss of the year.
Cincinnati Bengals- 37 St. Louis Rams- 0
This game will be all about the Bengals’ defense. They will not only completely shut St. Louis down, but also come away with some points of their own. The Rams appear to be lost right now, and it doesn’t seem like that is going to change anytime soon. That is unless Johnny Manziel is there to save the day. Even then the Rams do not have enough consistency in the locker to handle the likes of Vontaze Burfict.
Cincinnati Bengals- 21 Cleveland Browns- 14
Without question, the Cincinnati Bengals will be the better team in this contest. Still, Cleveland will put forth a good fight. As they always do against the Bengals. Unfortunately that won’t be enough to over-shadow the huge talent difference.Also, the experience of Cincinnati’s coaching staff will help the be well-prepared for the short week leading to this matchup.
Cincinnati Bengals-28 New Orleans Saints- 17
I may be one of few people who feel the Saints will be nothing more than a “middle of the pack” team next season. There is just not enough young bodies to carry them through the grind of a 16 game season. New Orleans will have a good start to the season, but by week 11 their weaknesses will be exposed. Brees will do all he can, but it will not make much of a difference.
Cincinnati Bengals 42 Houston Texans- 13
Houston was last season’s story of doom. No one thinks 2014 will be the same, but this team has a long way to go before they can compete at a high level again. Cincinnati by a land slide.
Cincinnati Bengals- 20 Tampa Bay- 23
Every NFL team has a game where nothing goes there way. This will be that game, Traveling such a long distance, after winning for in a row, will take it’s toll on the team. Tampa Bay will have to work for it, but they will come pull off the upset.
Cincinnati Bengals- 27 Pittsburgh Steelers- 6
This series will begin late in the year. By that time I believe Cincinnati will have already ran away with the Division, and this will be the game that solidifies their dominance of the division.
Cincinnati Bengals-24 Cleveland Browns- 9
After losing to Cincinnati on the road earlier in the season, Cleveland’s luck will not be much different. The Bengals will be approaching their fourth straight playoff berth, and the team’s confidence will be at an all-time high. It won’t be a blowout, but the Bengals will win convincingly.
Cincinnati Bengals-17 Denver Broncos-31
Peyton Manining may be the best regular season quarterback of all-time. His ability to disect a defense is something that can’t be mirrored. Manning will be the first passer that gets the best of the Bengals defense in 2014.
Cincinnati Bengals- 20 Pittsburgh Steelers-10
This game could take on one of two cultures. It could be a game that Marvin Lewis and his staff choose to rest some of their key starters. Or this game could be one that determines the Bengals’ playoff positioning. Either way, it won’t be a high scoring competition.