Bengals season prediction: 10-6
August, 28, 2013
By Jamison Hensley | ESPN.com
The Cincinnati Bengals will make history this year. Not Super Bowl history, but an unprecedented team accomplishment. The Bengals will solidify themselves as one of the best young teams in the NFL by going to the playoffs for a third straight year, something that's never been accomplished for a franchise that dates back to 1968.
The Cincinnati defense is championship caliber. The front four ranks among the best in the league, and this is backed by two ferocious hitters in linebackers Vontaze Burfict and James Harrison. On paper, this is the best defense in the division, and quite possibly the entire NFL. Based solely on the defense, the Bengals will earn a wild-card spot and advance to the divisional round.
Why aren't the Bengals predicted to go further? I have my doubts about quarterback Andy Dalton. The Bengals have put together an impressive supporting cast around him, which is headlined by wide receiver A.J. Green. And the top two draft picks, tight end Tyler Eifert and running back Giovani Bernard, add more playmakers to the offense. But Dalton has a history of not producing in critical situations, whether it's third downs or in the playoffs. This is why the Bengals still rank behind the Ravens in the division and will be one-and-done in this year's playoffs.
Predicted finish in AFC North: second
Final Cleveland 26 Atlanta 24 Final Tennessee 24 Philadelphia 43 Final Detroit 9 New England 34 Final Green Bay 24 Minnesota 21 Final Jacksonville 3 Indianapolis 23 Final Cincinnati 22 Houston 13 Postponed New York Buffalo Final Tampa Bay 13 Chicago 21 Final Arizona 3 Seattle 19 Final St. Louis 24 San Diego 27 Final Miami 36 Denver 39 Final Washington 13 San Francisco 17 Final Dallas 31 New York 28
7:00 PM ET New York Buffalo 8:30 PM ET Baltimore New Orleans