LA Rams vs. Bengals Round II: Who dey? What dey saying?

Los Angeles Rams At Cincinnati Bengals Joint Practice Aug 24 0072
Los Angeles Rams At Cincinnati Bengals Joint Practice Aug 24 0072 /
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LA Rams News
Los Angeles Rams At Cincinnati Bengals Joint Practice Aug 24 0073 /

Bengals Schedule challenges

Ramblin Fan: The Cincinnati Bengals appeared to benefit from a battered AFC North Division. Do you see the Bengals winning the AFC North again this year? Which team is the biggest threat to the Bengals division title?

Stripe Hype: The Bengals certainly benefitted from a softer schedule last year, and have a much tougher row to hoe this season.  According to The Athletic, they have the third-toughest schedule in the league (although your Rams have the toughest), with its opponents sporting a .536 winning percentage last year.

They also had some pretty good injury luck last year, as most of their key players (other than offensive right tackle Riley Reiff and a limited stretch for middle linebacker Logan Wilson) were able to avoid major injury throughout the entire season.   It’s the NFL, so injuries happen, and the Bengals can’t anticipate the health of all key players will hold up as well as it did last year.

Bengals knocking on the door for the AFC North title again?

That said, another AFC North title is attainable.  The Cleveland Browns have a solid roster but will be without newly acquired Deshaun Watson for 11 games, and – no disrespect intended to backup quarterback Jacoby Brissett – it’s hard to envision the Browns being in the thick of the playoff hunt in December in those circumstances.

The Pittsburgh Steelers are a team in transition that intends to start Mitch Trubisky at QB, and first-round rookie quarterback Kenny Pickett is presently third-string on the depth chart.  They don’t seem like much of a threat this year.  The team that will be battling it out with Cincinnati in the AFC North is the Baltimore Ravens.  They usually sport an elite running game and a strong defense, and they’re definitely a tough team to beat when they get a lead.

But head to head, Cincinnati absolutely brutalized them last year (41-17 beatdown in Baltimore and a 41-21 beatdown in the Jungle), and Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow was pretty much singlehandedly responsible for getting former Ravens’ defensive coordinator Don “Wink” Martindale fired.  If Baltimore ends up winning the AFC North crown, it’s likely to be because of a softer schedule, not the head-to-head tilts with Cincinnati.