The Cincinnati Bengals are primed for a big 2017 season. Between their talented starters, rookies who will be exciting to watch, and wanting to make amends for last year, there are lots of reasons for every Bengals fan to get excited. Especially us.
This week, Bengal boys Nate and Chris give you a game-by game prediction for Cincy in 2017.
Cincinnati Bengals Predictions Game by Game
Week 1 – vs Baltimore Ravens (September 10)
Chris: WIN – Joe Flacco only threw for 20 TDs last year, and 15 picks. Leading TE Dennis Pitta dislocated his hip last week and has since been released. Suspect passing game leads to Bengals’ win.
Nate: WIN – The Bengals should start Week 1 healthy, with several more weapons than they had in 2016 and I think they will be revved up in their first home game to open a regular season since 2009. The Bengals win this game based on health, better weapons, emotional energy and home field advantage.
Week 2 – vs Houston Texans (September 14)
Chris: LOSS – I’m not sure who did the schedule, but someone should make them run gassers. Two games in four days – this one against the reigning AFC South champions – means Cincinnati’s first loss of the season.
Nate: WIN – I think Houston will have one of the top defenses in the NFL this season after getting a healthy J.J. Watt back to help an already dominate D. The problem is they do not have a proven quarterback, Cincy have loaded up Dalton with more weapons and a team that want to show they are capable in the national spotlight. Since the Bengals have a new kicker in place I like Cincy by a field goal at home.
Week 3 – at Green Bay Packers (September 24)
Chris: LOSS – The Bengals have a week and a half to rest for this game, but it’s against Aaron Rodgers and the Pack, who were 7th in the NFL last year in passing yards and 4th in points.
Nate: LOSS – Although Aaron Rodgers is 0-2 in his career against the Bengals I think this is the year he is able to come out with a victory. I predict a close game but the Packers win a shootout in front of the home crowd at Lambeau Field.
Week 4 – at Cleveland Browns (October 1)
Chris: WIN – Just what we need to get back to .500. Top draft pick Myles Garrett will still be adjusting to the pro game, so he won’t quite be a difference maker … yet.
Nate: WIN – The Browns will show glimmers of hope and improve from their 1-15 record from last year but Cincy will have the firepower and experience to win this contest early in the season still.
Week 5 – vs Buffalo Bills (October 8)
Chris: WIN – The Bills led the NFL in rushing, but were almost dead last in passing. If the Cincinnati Bengals can contain the run, they’ll win. It’ll be close, but I say they get it done.
Nate: WIN – The Bengals lost a close one at home against the Bills last year 16-12 but it was also a game in which kicker Mike Nugent missed 2 extra points and the Bengals were not afforded the opportunity to kick a game winning field goal. I think the Bengals have improved more than the Bills in the offseason and they will not have the kicking issues to the same degree in this contest. The Bengals win by 10 at home.
Week 6 – BYE WEEK
Week 7 – at Pittsburgh Steelers (October 22)
Chris: LOSS – Grudge match, grudge match, grudge match – especially after Referee-gate last year. This will be a close contest that, unfortunately, won’t go the Bengals’ way because of Pittsburgh’s home-field advantage.
Nate: LOSS – Sparks will fly, emotions will run high, and there will be felt hatred and controversy as usual. Pittsburgh takes the first of two in their house as the Bengals usually don’t play as well coming off their bye week.
Week 8 – vs Indianapolis Colts (October 29)
Chris: WIN – Between Andrew Luck’s shoulder surgery at the end of 2016 and a dicey O-line, I feel comfy saying Cincinnati takes this one.
Nate: WIN – I predict a close high scoring affair but the Bengals edge the Colts by a field goal at home to get back on track.
Week 9 – at Jacksonville Jaguars (November 5)
Chris: WIN – The addition of LSU running back Leonard Fournette takes pressure off QB Blake Bortles, who struggled with consistency at the end of last year. But Jacksonville will still be questionable in too many other areas to mount a serious threat to Cincinnati, who will have back-to-back wins when this one is over.
Nate: LOSS – I think the Bengals will fall in an upset here, Fournette has a break out game and Bortles doesn’t make too many mistakes in this one. The Bengals let one get away that they are expected to win.
Week 10 – at Tennessee Titans (November 12)
Chris: LOSS – Tennessee has been steadily improving under coach Mike Mularkey, and quarterback Marcus Mariota has a top-down convertible for a ceiling. The Titans will be in the thick of their own playoff chase by this point of the season. Home team in a close one.
Nate: LOSS – The Titans have the potential to be a dangerous team in 2017 with a solid ground game already in place and the team adding more weapons in the draft this year for Mariota. This should be a fun contest but I think the Titans win a close one in Music City.
Week 11 – at Denver Broncos (November 19)
Chris: WIN – Cincinnati and Denver were very close statistically last year. This might as well come down to a coin flip. Hang on (flip) ………..W
Nate: LOSS – Denver’s D overwhelms Cincy’s O-line in Mile High.
Week 12 – vs Cleveland Browns (November 26)
Chris: WIN – Cleveland could very well be improved this late in the season. But so will Cincinnati, and they’ll make it seven in a row over their in-state rival.
Nate: WIN – If Cleveland finds some consistency at QB this season this could be a close one. I’m not putting my money on that happening just yet. Cincy gets back on track again here by a touchdown.
Week 13 – vs Pittsburgh Steelers (December 4)
Chris: WIN – Cincinnati gets their long-awaited revenge, and they get it in front of the home crowd. A victory will also prevent Pittsburgh from owning the tiebreaker – extra motivation if you ask us.
Nate: WIN – The Bengals are focused and realize the implications of this game. The offense brings The Jungle to life and the Bengals split the season with the Steelers.
Week 14 – vs Chicago Bears (December 10)
Chris: WIN – The Bears shocked everyone when they drafted QB Mitchell Trubisky with the second overall pick. We’ll see if he’s come into his own by now. Until then, we’ll go based on Chicago’s 3-13 record last year.
Nate: WIN – Trubisky struggles if he is playing at this point. The Bears struggle in 2017 regardless. I think the Bengals win in a blow out at home against the Bears.
Week 15 – vs Minnesota Vikings (December 17)
Chris: WIN – Running back Dalvin Cook will be roughed up this late in the season. The Vikings will be mounting a rushing attack that is similar to their last-in-the-league 75.3 yards per game from 2016.
Nate: LOSS – HC Mike Zimmer is motivated to beat his former team and brings out all the stops to expose the weakness of Cincy’s offense line with all the exotic looks in his repertoire. The Vikings snap the Bengals 3 game winning streak in a close one.
Week 16 – vs Detroit Lions (December 24)
Chris: LOSS – This one is similar to the matchup with Denver from the previous month. Even without Megatron, the Lions were still 11th in the league in passing yards last season. Starting LT Taylor Decker should be back from labrum surgery. This coin flip might go against the Bengals.
Nate: WIN – I think the Lions have regressed in ways this offseason but Matthew Stafford keeps them in contests in 2017 still. The Bengals are too much at home though as some of the rookies (Ross & Mixon) bring too much sizzle for the Lions to stop.
Week 17 – at Baltimore Ravens (December 31)
Chris: LOSS – If I’m 15-for-15, then the Cincinnati Bengals will be 10-5 and smelling the playoffs. I hate to say it, but I think that means a loss to end the regular season. They will have played 11 games since the bye week and counting on those 10 wins to get them into the playoffs. Let’s hope it does.
Nate: WIN – The Bengals clinch at least a Wild Card playoff spot with a win in this game while the Ravens are already out of the hunt. Cincy gets it done on the road.
Final record: Chris (10-6) Nate (10-6)