The Cincinnati Bengals have established themselves as one of the top contenders in the entire NFL with consecutive conference title game appearances and a Super Bowl berth in the last two seasons.
There are some holes the Bengals have to fill for the upcoming season. With the drama surrounding Joe Mixon, the running back position may need another body.
Yes, they signed tight end Irv Smith Jr. to counter the departure of Hayden Hurst, but he has an unflattering injury plus he’s only on a one-year deal. Despite this, Betonline.ag believes the Bengals have the second-best odds of making the playoffs in 2023 at 77.8%, tied with the Kansas City Chiefs and Philadelphia Eagles who made the Super Bowl last season.
The team with the best odds is the San Francisco 49ers at 83.3%. If the Bengals do make the playoffs for the third consecutive year, it will be only the second time in team history they would have done so (2011-2013).
Cincinnati has added Pro Bowl left tackle Orlando Brown Jr to protect quarterback Joe Burrow. This move was undoubtedly made to get an upgrade from Jonah Williams and to help with the biggest for the Bengals offensively, giving up sacks (surrendered 99 over the last two seasons).
The Bengals also added depth to the offensive line by signing veteran Cody Ford. He played guard for most of his career and did so for the Arizona Cardinals last season.
However, Ford did start 15 games at right tackle for the Buffalo Bills as a rookie in 2019, and that’s where he’ll compete for snaps in 2023.
Defensively, the Bengals brought back some key players. Linebacker Germaine Pratt signed a three-year deal last month, and safety Michael Thomas, a special teams ace who was a captain in 2022, inked a one-year contract. Cincinnati brought in some outside guys as well.
Hard-hitting Safety Nick Scott is now on board to help fill the void left by Jessie Bates and Von Bell. Also, cornerback has more competition with Sidney Jones added to the mix.
Then there’s the returning offensive firepower the Bengals possess with Burrow at the helm and a three-headed machine at wide receiver in Ja’Marr Chase, Tee Higgins, and Tyler Boyd. It’s as formidable of an aerial assault as there is in the NFL. More work needs to be done in the draft by the Bengals, but they’re locked and loaded for another deep playoff run.