Bengals Biggest Games Will Come Against Dolphins and Jets
I know this doesn't make a lot of sense at first glance, but because of the current state of the Cincinnati Bengals, their late season matchups against the Jets and Dolphins stand to be the most important games they will play this year.
The Bengals are currently the only NFL team held without a win halfway through the regular season. Some of the Bengals future matchups in 2019 include facing the Baltimore Ravens, New England Patriots, and the Pittsburgh Steelers - three games they are unlikely to come away victorious.
Cincinnati also has a few games against teams like the Browns and Raiders in the second half of the season. While they won't be favored in any of these contests, it's slightly more concerning that they could steal a win in one of these matchups.
However, their games against the Jets and the Dolphins will be the biggest test. We obviously don't want to see the Bengals keep losing football games. But at the same time, Cincinnati is very much in play for the first overall pick in the draft next year. With top names like Chase Young, Tua Tagovailoa, Joe Burrow, and Justin Herbert, the Bengals front office would love to have their pick of elite talent.
The first overall pick would be a great asset for other reasons as well. With several top-notch quarterback prospects, teams will be trying to move up in the draft. Cincinnati has a lot of needs for next season. If they owned the number one pick, they may be able to exchange it for a king's ransom.
Currently, it's a five-team race for the number one pick in 2020. The Dolphins, Jets, Redskins, and Falcons each have just one win on the season. If the Bengals end up winning against Miami, New York, or both, it could mean the difference between picking number one or having potentially 3-4 teams selecting in front of them.
I know nobody wants to think this way, and it becomes increasingly harder to watch the Bengals suffer through one loss after another. But the fact of the matter is that there is a very real chance the Bengals could defeat the Dolphins or the Jets this season.
With no incentive to win at that point and every reason to keep losing, will you be rooting for Cincinnati to throw in the towel against the Jets and Dolphins for the number one overall pick?