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Can The Bengals Make it Back to the Super Bowl in 2023?

Alisha takes a look at the changes the Bengals made this offseason, breaking down whether they will be enough to keep them among the elite of the AFC.

KANSAS CITY, MISSOURI - JANUARY 30: Wide receiver Ja'Marr Chase #1 of the Cincinnati Bengals celebrates with running back Joe Mixon #28 and wide receiver Tee Higgins #85 after catching a third quarter touchdown pass against the Kansas City Chiefs in the AFC Championship Game at Arrowhead Stadium on January 30, 2022 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

There is a lot of hype that the AFC North could be king of the NFL divisions this year because all four teams have a really good shot to reach the postseason. The Cincinnati Bengals have taken the division the last two years and they are looking to be not only crowned division winners but Super Bowl winners also. Let’s look at last year and then analyze what the Bengals have done to win it all this year, seeing if they are improved enough to make another deep playoff run.

2022 Cincinnati Bengals

The Bengals wanted everyone to know that their 2021 Super Bowl appearance was no fluke and that they are a solid team. They went 12-4, winning a second-straight AFC North title for the first time in franchise history. The Bengals were a top-ten offense, scoring an average of 29 points per game. The defense also improved to sixth place, from 17th the year prior.

The postseason was a rollercoaster of emotions starting with a win against division rival Baltimore Ravens. The next week, they took on the Buffalo Bills who had a player, Damar Hamlin, suffer cardiac arrest on Cincinnati’s home field just three weeks prior. The air was thick, and emotions were high, but the Bengals pulled off the win. The next quest was to beat the Kansas City Chiefs as they did the previous year in the AFC Championship Game. Unfortunately, the Chiefs came out on top, recording their first win over Joe Burrow. 

2023 Cincinnati Bengals

The Bengals have made some key additions to the team this year. The most important piece they added is offensive tackle Orlando Brown, who they signed to a four-year deal after he spent the last four years with the Ravens and Chiefs. They lost TE Hayden Hurst after just one year with the team but signed former Minnesota Vikings TE Irv Smith Jr. to a one-year deaal. Smith Jr. is yet another pass-catching weapon to add to Burrow’s arsenal. 

The Bengals also added defensive end Tarell Basham, who played college ball in Ohio, offensive lineman Cody Ford, cornerback Sidney Jones IV, and safety Nick Scott. They also signed all eight of their selections in this year’s NFL Draft. The signings included DE Myles Murphy, CB DJ Turner II, S Jordan Battle, WR Charlie Jones, HB Chase Brown, WR Andrei Iosivas, P Brad Robbins and CB DJ Ivey.

The Bengals have shown how good they are over the last two seasons, and they are even more beefed up on the line with the addition of Orlando Brown. The secondary will be the biggest question heading into the season, as they lost Jesse Bates III, Von Bell, and Eli Apple. Nick Scott and Sidney Jones have big shoes to fill taking over their positions. If all goes well, the Bengals should once again be one of the last few teams left playing come January.