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Strength of schedule

Cincinnati offense facing uphill climb

The Bengals took a step in the right direction on Sunday, with Joe Burrow and JaMarr Chase connecting on 3 TDs, but I’m still nervous about their ability to truly get back into the race. They didn’t get any favors from the schedulers.

They’ve got to play the Ravens and Browns again; those defenses are going to be good all year. They’ve also still got to play San Francisco, Buffalo and Kansas City, along with a pair against the Steelers, who can play them tough.

In terms of wins and losses, Cincinnati’s remaining opponents are 35-23 – the best in the league when we look at the final 13 weeks of the season.

STRENGTH OF SCHEDULE, WINS (Wks 6-18)
TeamWinLossPct
Detroit2335.397
Green Bay2335.397
Atlanta2434.414
Houston2434.414
Chicago2533.431
New Orleans2633.441
Indianapolis2632.448
Pittsburgh2632.448
Kansas City2731.466
Las Vegas2831.475
LA Chargers3134.477
Miami2931.483
Cleveland3133.484
Buffalo2929.500
LA Rams2929.500
Minnesota3030.500
Tampa Bay3332.508
New England3029.508
Denver2928.509
Jacksonville3028.517
NY Giants3228.533
NY Jets3127.534
San Francisco3026.536
Philadelphia3227.542
Carolina3226.552
Tennessee3226.552
Washington3326.559
Seattle3628.563
Dallas3325.569
Baltimore3324.579
Arizona3423.596
• Cincinnati3523.603

If we look at points rather than wins, the results are similar. The Bengals and Jaguars are the only teams whose remaining games are against opponents who are (as a whole) allowing fewer than 20 points per game. Cincinnati’s final 12 are against opponents allowing 19.2 points per week – over a point lower than 30 other teams.

STRENGTH OF SCHEDULE, Points (Wks 6-18)
TeamAvg
Kansas City25.5
Green Bay25.0
Dallas25.0
Las Vegas24.9
New England24.1
Buffalo23.9
Detroit23.6
NY Jets23.6
Minnesota23.4
New Orleans23.1
LA Chargers22.9
Cleveland22.8
Atlanta22.6
Philadelphia22.5
Chicago22.4
NY Giants22.3
Washington22.2
Houston22.0
San Francisco21.8
LA Rams21.6
Baltimore21.5
Pittsburgh21.5
Tennessee21.3
Miami21.2
Denver21.0
Indianapolis20.7
Carolina20.7
Tampa Bay20.5
Arizona20.5
Seattle20.5
• Cincinnati19.2
Jacksonville19.1

Burrow’s calf if key, of course. He moved around a little more against Arizona. Will be nice if he can make through this week’s game with no issue, giving him a bye week to get back closer to 100 percent. But I’m not sure that offense is ever going to get back to being the top-3 type of offense many were hoping for the in offseason.

—Ian Allan

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