The Cincinnati Bengals are 0-2 in 2023.
This team is filled with young stars and is just a year removed from a trip to the Super Bowl.
Bengals fans should not worry; this team has a history of slow starts.
Since 2020, the Bengals have started 0-2 every season except for 2021.
Three out of the past four years have been characterized by slow starts.
There is plenty of time for this team to get things together and pick up momentum.
They have done it before, but there are two new wrinkles that could complicate the plan.
1. Joe Burrow’s Calf
As Bengals fans are well aware, Burrow missed a lot of training camp with a calf injury.
Burrow explained the slow start in 2023 because he lacked the necessary preparation time on the field with his team.
However, he appeared to be in pain in the Week 2 game which indicates all is not well with his calf.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) September 18, 2023
2. AFC North Is More Competitive
Arguably, all three of the Bengals’ competitors in the AFC North division, the Baltimore Ravens, Cleveland Browns, and Pittsburgh Steelers, have improved their rosters in 2023.
The Bengals’ two losses are to AFC North teams, the Browns and Ravens.
They are the only winless team in the division.
The Bengals could have a harder time winning the division or securing a playoff spot if their slow start continues.
AFC North after Week 2 Sunday:
— Steelers Depot 7⃣ (@Steelersdepot) September 17, 2023
The Bengals finally get a non-division opponent in Week 3, and Burrow has an extra day to get the calf healthy.
They will host the 1-1 Los Angeles Rams on Monday Night Football on September 25, 2023.
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