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USA Today Sports Media Group
USA Today Sports Media Group
Chris Roling

Experts predict the Cincinnati Bengals’ 2023 record

The full 2023 schedule for the Cincinnati Bengals looks like one littered with big challenges.

Given that, plus the fact the Bengals have been in the AFC title game two seasons in a row and appear to keep getting better, it makes them a tough team for experts to project.

So we thought it would be fun to step back during this rather quiet part of the NFL offseason and take a gander at some of the most notable season-long Bengals season projections from experts.

Here’s a look at how a handful of experts see the Bengals doing against a tough schedule, especially thanks to a brutal-looking second half.

ESPN: Under 11.5 wins

Katie Stratman-USA TODAY Sports

ESPN‘s projections lean heavily into the idea the AFC North will be much better next year — not that sitting around 11 wins is a bad thing. The writeup:

The Bengals are obviously a talented team with a very high ceiling, but I like the under here because of my belief that the rest of the division will be improved in 2023. Cincinnati plays a first-place schedule that might be a little tougher on paper than the rest of the teams’ schedules in this division. Of course, the Bengals have a high ceiling, but I see more paths to the under than the over.

CBS Sports: 13-4

Katie Stratman-USA TODAY Sports

CBS Sports’ Will Brinson sees a finally-normal offseason for Joe Burrow playing a huge role:

Joe Burrow had a rookie season played amid COVID, then a recovery from a torn ACL and a burst appendix to kickstart each of his first three seasons. If he comes into the year 100 percent, the Bengals are set up by the schedule to rip off a bunch of early wins and not slow down.


PFF: Over 11.5 wins

Katie Stratman-USA TODAY Sports

Pro Football Focus says, luck willing, the Bengals are one of the league’s best, top-to-bottom:

This Bengals’ roster is one of the more complete ones in the league. Barring anything unforeseen, they should be among the favorites to appear in Super Bowl 58.


FOX Sports: 11-6

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Fox Sports‘ Ralph Vacchiano points to that brutal post-bye stretch as a major reason for his projections:

Surviving the AFC North could be tough enough for anyone, but the Bengals have plenty of other challenges. Back-to-back games off the bye week at San Francisco and vs. the Bills will test them. And they’ll find out just how ready they are for a run at the AFC Championship with a Week 17 date in Kansas City. They’ll need to build a cushion somewhere, because their December and January slate isn’t easy. –Ralph Vacchiano

Sports Illustrated: 14-3

Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

The highest Bengals record projection comes from Sports Illustrated’s Matt Verderame:

For the second consecutive year, the Bengals will play a first-place schedule after winning the AFC North. That means Cincinnati will face the Chiefs on the road and the Bills at home. However, the Bengals get a nice stretch against the AFC South, with only the Jaguars projecting to be an above-.500 squad.

Pro Football Network: 11-6

(Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images)

Pro Football Network‘s Ian Valentino thinks the Bengals have a favorable schedule:

It’s hard to imagine the Bengals could have gotten a more favorable schedule release. Facing the Chiefs in the final week of the season may not even matter since both teams could rest starters by then. Hosting the Seahawks and Rams is much less worrisome than the opposite possibility, so the Bengals should fare well this season.

Bleacher Report: 11-6

(Photo by Kirk Irwin/Getty Images)

Bleacher Report‘s Kristopher Knox likes the offseason additions for the Bengals and the overall core:

With Burrow, Ja’Marr Chase, Tee Higgins and Tyler Boyd leading the offense, Cincinnati should again be in store for double-digit wins.

Expect Cincinnati to challenge for the AFC’s No. 1 seed, though with a tough AFC North and non-divisional games against the Seahawks, Bills, Jaguars, Chiefs—a pivotal Week 17 matchup—and 49ers, it’s going to be a battle to earn it.


Bengals Wire: 13-4

Syndication: The Enquirer

Our early predictions slot the Bengals at 13 wins:

At this point, this feels like a safe projection with a margin of error of about two games or so. The Bengals should again be strong in the division itself and overall AFC. Some cupcake-looking games on this slate really help. The final four-game stretch is a prime chance to really get in playoff mode well before it’s win-or-go-home time.

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