The Cincinnati Bengals begin the season with the first Monday Night Football game of 2012. After a stellar rookie season, both A.J. Green and Andy Dalton have grown as players and should perform at an even higher level in 2012.
To add to that, the Bengals look to have another strong group of rookies, adding players like DT Devon Still, CB Dre Kirkpatrick and LB Vontaze Burfict to their roster. The three have the potential to make immediate impacts in the NFL.
Although the Bengals schedule looks to be one of the hardest in the league, a playoff bid isn't out of the question for 2012.
Result: Bengals 17, Ravens 14
The Bengals will upset the Ravens in the first Monday Night Football game of the year, a game that will be dominated by both teams' defenses.
Week 2: Cleveland Browns at Cincinnati Bengals
Result: Bengals 27, Browns 14
The Bengals will take the first of two games between the intrastate rivals. In the battle of redheaded quarterbacks, Andy Dalton will outperform Brandon Weeden with some help from his go-to receiver, Adriel Jeremiah Green, better known as A.J. Green.
Week 3: Cincinnati Bengals at Washington Redskins
Result: Bengals 31, Redskins 16
The Bengals defense will startle the young and talented QB, Robert Griffin III in this one. The Redskins will fall to the Bengals, due in large part to the turnovers surrendered.
Week 4: Cincinnati Bengals at Jacksonville Jaguars
Result: Bengals 31, Jaguars 20
Maurice Jones-Drew will rush for two touchdowns but Jacksonville's defense won't be able to fend off the Bengals offense. Cincinnati will start their season with a 4-0 record for the first time since 2005.
Week 5: Miami Dolphins at Cincinnati Bengals
Result: Bengals 24, Dolphins 21
The Bengals will get into the head of another rookie quarterback, Ryan Tannehill. Turnovers in the 4th quarter will rid the Dolphins of a win against the young, yet talented Bengals squad.
Week 6: Cincinnati Bengals at Cleveland Browns
Result: Bengals 23, Browns 17
Marvin Lewis will lead the Bengals to an impressive 6-0 start while sweeping the season series between the two Ohio franchises.
Week 7: Pittsburgh Steelers at Cincinnati Bengals
Result: Bengals 21, Steelers 31
Pittsburgh will be just too much for the young Cincinnati team to manage. Big Ben and the Steeler defense will overwhelm the Bengals and hand them their first loss in 2012.
Week 9: Denver Broncos at Cincinnati Bengals
Result: Bengals 14, Broncos 28
A combination of Peyton Manning's adeptness at quarterback and a couple of Cincinnati turnovers will land the Bengals their second consecutive defeat.
Week 10: New York Giants at Cincinnati Bengals
Result: Bengals 21, Giants 30
In back-to-back weeks, the Bengals will take beatdowns from the Manning brothers.
Week 11: Cincinnati Bengals at Kansas City Chiefs
Result: Bengals 28, Chiefs 17
Cincinnati will snap their three-game skid with a victory in Kansas City. Green-Ellis will pass the century mark in rushing and Andy Dalton will throw for three touchdowns.
Week 12: Oakland Raiders at Cincinnati Bengals
Result: Bengals 35, Raiders 17
Carson Palmer will return to Cincinnati only to be gobbled up by the Cincinnati defense. He'll throw for a pair of touchdowns, as well as a pair of interceptions.
Week 13: Cincinnati Bengals at San Diego Chargers
Result: Bengals 17, Chargers 16
The Bengals will win in a nail-biter after Andy Dalton leads his team downfield in time for Nugent to kick the game-winning field goal
Week 14: Dallas Cowboys at Cincinnati Bengals
Result: Bengals 14, Cowboys 31
The Cowboys will roll into Cincinnati and the Dallas offense will be too much for the Bengals to handle.
Week 15: Cincinnati Bengals at Philadelphia Eagles
Result: Bengals 38, Eagles 35
Offense will be the theme in this one, as the Bengals will be able to hold off Michael Vick and the rest of the Eagles offense enough to come out victorious.
Week 16: Cincinnati Bengals at Pittsburgh Steelers
Result: Bengals 10, Steelers 21
The Steelers will take the season sweep of the Bengals, but Cincinnati will remain tied with the Ravens for the number two spot in the AFC North.
Week 17: Baltimore Ravens at Cincinnati Bengals
Result: Bengals 25, Ravens 28
The Bengals will be able to score late in the game and get the two-point conversion to cut the deficit to three, but fail to recover the onside kick. For the second year in a row, the Steelers, Ravens, and Bengals will earn a spot in the playoffs.