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NFL Pick: Cincinnati Bengals 2022 Regular Season Win Total

Getting to the top is much easier than staying there, so all eyes will be on the AFC champion Cincinnati Bengals in 2022. With former Heisman Trophy winner Joe Burrow running the show the Bengals orchestrated a 6-game improvement from 2020 winning the AFC North with a 10-7 record and easily surpassing their projected win total. They aren’t going to sneak up on anyone in 2022 and a tougher first-place schedule makes things more dangerous. The Bengals do look like a team on the rise, though, and seeing their win total at 10 looks favorable.

There were signs that the Bengals were in good hands with Burrow in 2020 until a devastating knee injury ended his season. That served as motivation for the QB to get better. Losing to the Rams in the Super Bowl just might be what the team needs in order to do the same. One area the Bengals desperately needed to improve was the offensive line making several moves to address that situation. Otherwise it was a quiet offseason, though the Bengals didn’t really need to change a lot of things.

Cincinnati Bengals 2022 Regular Season Win Total Odds

Bengals Over 10 Wins +113

Bengals Under 10 Wins -133

It almost seemed like Zac Taylor was too conservative in his play-calling early last season maybe in an effort to protect his QB. Or it could have been because the offensive line was a sieve. Still, Burrow had a monster year throwing for 4,611 yards and 34 touchdowns with a 70.4 completion percentage during the regular season. He was equally good during the postseason throwing for 1,105 yards. A few things hurt an otherwise productive offense. The biggest issue was up front where the line allowed 55 sacks during the regular season and another 19 in four playoff games.

Despite the constant harassment Burrow still put up staggering numbers. Imagine what he could do with better protection. Well, management did and the Bengals made several additions with Alex Cappa, Ted Karras and La’el Collins all expected to start. And fixing that issue should have an impact on the other problem. The Bengals ranked 23rd in the NFL in rushing averaging 102.5 yards and 4.0 yards per pop. It never was about running the ball, though, not with so many weapons in the passing game. Ja’Marr Chase, Tee Higgins and Tyler Boyd combined for 222 receptions, 3,374 yards and 24 touchdowns.

The passing game will be good with the players the Bengals have. However, one thing that changes year to year is how teams handle the football. Cincy wasn’t the best on defense, but the group was opportunistic, especially in the playoffs. They forced nine turnovers in four games and had a playoff-best plus-7 turnover margin. They ranked 18th in total defense and 17th in points allowed and will have a disgruntled leader in Jason Bates, who could impact the overall effectiveness of the group if his demands for a new contract aren’t met.

2022 Cincinnati Bengals Schedule

Week 1: vs. Pittsburgh Steelers, Sunday, September 11, 1 p.m. ET

Week 2: at Dallas Cowboys, Sunday, September 18, 4:25 p.m. ET

Week 3: at New York Jets, Sunday, September 25, 1 p.m. ET

Week 4: vs. Miami Dolphins, Thursday, September 29, 8:15 p.m. ET (PRIME)

Week 5: at Baltimore Ravens, Sunday, October 9, 8:20 p.m. ET (NBC)

Week 6: at New Orleans Saints, Sunday, October 16, 1 p.m. ET

Week 7: vs. Atlanta Falcons, Sunday, October 23, 1 p.m. ET

Week 8: at Cleveland Browns, Monday, October 31, 8:15 p.m. ET (ESPN)

Week 9: vs. Carolina Panthers, Sunday, November 6, 1 p.m. ET

Week 10: BYE

Week 11: at Pittsburgh Steelers, Sunday, November 20, 8:20 p.m. ET (NBC)

Week 12: at Tennessee Titans, Sunday, November 27, 1 p.m. ET

Week 13: vs. Kansas City Chiefs, Sunday, December 4, 4:25 p.m. ET

Week 14: vs. Cleveland Browns, Sunday, December 11, 1 p.m. ET

Week 15: at Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Sunday, December 18, 4:25 p.m. ET

Week 16: at New England Patriots, Saturday, December 24, 1 p.m. ET

Week 17: vs. Buffalo Bills, Monday, January 2, 8:30 p.m. ET (ESPN/ABC)

Week 18: vs. Baltimore Ravens, Sunday, January 8 (TBA)

I think it’s safe to say the Bengals over-performed in 2021. They had the makings of a better club just with Burrow under center, but other elements allowed for them to become a force in the AFC. They don’t have to be great on defense with the potential the offense has for big numbers. And they probably catch a break in a division with half the teams going through a transition. Cincy and Baltimore are co-favorites to win the AFC North with Pittsburgh looking at the post-Ben Roethlisberger era and Cleveland trying to get Deshaun Watson in the lineup. Overall the schedule is going to be more difficult, but the Bengals should also be better.

Quick Pick

The ceiling is high with a good mix of talent in a division that’s changing. Burrow is Joe Cool and with an improved line the offense could put up big numbers offsetting any deficiencies on the other side of the football. Like most folks I didn’t expect the Bengals to reach the Super Bowl last season, and though the schedule has me worried I like the potential for at least 11 wins.

Our Pick: Bengals OVER 10 Wins (+113)

View today’s NFL betting lines.

George Newman
George Newman
Covers NFL, NBA, MLB and NHL for George is also an avid sports bettor and daily fantasy sports fan.

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