The Cincinnati Bengals should have fond memories from the 2015 season. The team won the AFC North Division title, posting a 12-4 record, their best season since a similar 12-4 mark in 1988, the year in which the Bengals made their most recent Super Bowl appearance. But appearances can be deceiving, as the Bengals continued their recent history of self-destruction. A penalty-filled finish to a game they looked to have in the bag cost them an 18-16 decision to the hated division rivals the Pittsburgh Steelers in an AFC wildcard playoff game.
As they ready for 2016, talent still isn’t an issue with the Bengals. The question once again about this team is whether they can get out of their own way and find a path to go somewhere in the postseason.
Historically, the Bengals are 0-2 in Super Bowl play. They certainly aren’t the only NFL team to be winless in multiple Super Bowl appearances – talk to the Minnesota Viking and Buffalo Bills, who are both 0-4 – but they are the only team to lose both of their Super Bowls to the same team.
The Bengals first qualified for the Super Bowl in 1981, losing Super Bowl XVI 26-21 to the San Francisco 49ers. Seven years later, the Bengals were back in Super Bowl XXIII and lost again, this time by a 20-16 count against the same 49ers.
Two years later, the Bengals throttled the Houston Oilers 41-14 in an AFC wildcard playoff game. They haven’t won a postseason game since, going 0-8.
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Cincinnati Bengals Regular Season Schedule
The Cincinnati Bengals’ 2016 regular season schedule listed below has a familiar feel to it. For the eighth straight season, the Bengals will open the season on the road.
Cincinnati travels to MetLife Stadium to face the 10-win New York Jets, and then it’s off to Heinz Field for an emotionally-charged rematch with the Pittsburgh Steelers. Cincinnati-Pittsburgh games are always nasty and intense but after last season’s playoff shenanigans, this one could be off the charts.
The Bengals will open at home against the defending Super Bowl champion Denver Broncos in Week 3. Other than a trip to New England to face the Patriots, it gets easier after that until the last six games of the season, when the Bengals face the Baltimore Ravens twice, the Steelers again and the AFC South champion Houston Texans.
What Are The Cincinnati Bengals Standings
This is where you can check out and keep up to date on the Cincinnati Bengals standings in the AFC North, and this division figures to be a three-team race to the finish line.
The Bengals, Baltimore Ravens and Pittsburgh Steelers have all won division titles over the past four seasons and it wouldn’t be a suprise to see any of them finish on top, nor would it be shocking to see all three teams qualify for postseason play.
One thing to like about the Bengals is that from a wagering standpoint, they come to play virtually every week. The Bengals were 12-4 straight up in 2015 but they were also an impressive 12-3-1 against the spread and an astonishing 8-0 against the spread on the road.
How To Win Cincinnati Bengals Bets
Last season was the fifth straight season that the Bengals qualified for the NFL playoffs and it was the fifth straight season that the Bengals were eliminated in the opening round of postseason play.
Many in football felt that the Bengals’ latest breakdown in discipline that cost them their wildcard playoff game against Pittsburgh would be the ultimate undoing of head coach Marvin Lewis but that wasn’t the case. He’s still on the job although several members of his staff departed during the off-season.
Since Lewis took over in 2003, the Bengals have posted a half dozen double-digit win seasons and qualified for the playoffs seven times. But they’ve never won a playoff game and at some point, the reason for that continued failure has to point at the head coach, doesn’t it?
Cincinnati Bengals detractors used to say that the reason the Bengals didn’t win in the playoffs was the play of quarterback Andy Dalton.
Last season, with Dalton injured and absent from their postseason loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers, the same detractors insisted the reason Cincinnati lost was because the Bengals couldn’t generate any offense with Dalton on the shelf.
In 2016, his sixth NFL season, Dalton will be working with Ken Zampese, his third offensive co-ordinator. It shouldn’t take long for them to get on the same page, though, considering that previously, Zampese was Dalton’s quarterback coach, so the two know each other well.
This Cincinnati Bengals team is loaded with offensive weapons, which makes it a little puzzling that they were just 7-9 in the over/under during the 2015 NFL season. Dalton is an MVP caliber quarterback. Running back Jeremy Hill is capable of gaining 1,000 yards on the ground and scoring double digits in touchdowns. Receiver A.J. Green could easily do the same through the air.
But it all comes down to discipline for a team that has yet to prove they can keep their cool when things get heated. Until the Bengals mature, the chances of them going far remain slim.