The Cincinnati Bengals had a miraculous season last year. It was expected that they would finish in dead last in the AFC North, but instead they won the division. Though they didn’t just stop there. Cincinnati kept their powered momentum flowing throughout the postseason. They marched all the way through the AFC Conference and into the Super Bowl. If it weren’t for a big Aaron Donald play on fourth down, they probably could have won it!
Sportsbooks are currently listing the Bengals as the favorites to win the AFC North for the second year in a row. However, it is pretty clear that the Bengals players themselves aren’t listening to any of their own hype. Their starting defensive tackle D.J. Reader said, “I don’t know. I watched a couple of UFC fights this weekend. Vegas gets it wrong sometimes, too. They win most of the time, they’re the house, but they get it wrong a lot of times too.”
Reader expanded on his previous statement by saying, “Who cares? It seems like it goes through us right now, so until somebody comes and takes it from us, I’m gonna be confident in us.”
It’s hard to argue with this particular stance as well. They did prove to the rest of the AFC that they belong towards the top moving forward. Unless somebody is able to drop them down a peg, they should be treated as the reigning AFC Champions.
Cincinnati Bengals Have Been Forgotten
Surprisingly, we have watched Cincinnati get talked about less and less. The Buffalo Bills are obviously a massive name that has popped up during the offseason. The entire AFC West division with the Kansas City Chiefs, Los Angeles Chargers, Denver Broncos and Las Vegas Raiders have also stolen the spotlight. I mean, even the Cleveland Browns have received more hype due to picking up Deshaun Watson in a blockbuster trade.
At the end of the day though, Cincinnati has the tools they need to replicate last season’s success. Even if they aren’t talked about as much. They are motivated as ever following that Super Bowl loss. Just ask their offensive lineman Jonah Williams. He said, “Our goal is to be the best line in the league and to lead the offense to be the best offense in the league. That was our goal every year, but this year we know what the expectations are.”
Just like Reader, Williams continued. He said, “We were able to make it to the Super Bowl last year and weren’t able to finish. So, this time we know we can make it to the Super Bowl. We can do it a lot better and then we can win when we get there.”
Even if everybody is losing sight of the Bengals, they have more than enough confidence in themselves to win it all in 2023.
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