Can Bengals Overcome Dismal 1-3 Start?

Can Bengals Overcome Dismal 1-3 Start?
Fact Checked by Michael Peters

It’s been an abysmal start to the season for one-time Super Bowl hopeful Cincinnati, which has lost three of its first four regular season games, including a 27-3 rout at the hands of Tennessee on Sunday. Stick with for updated Bengals playoff chances throughout the year.

Through four games, the Bengals have lost to Cleveland (27-3), Baltimore (27-24) and the Titans, with the team’s lone win coming 19-16 in Week 3 over the L.A. Rams.

Because of that the Browns Super Bowl odds (+3000) are now better than the Bengals.

Ahead of Cincinnati’s Week 5 road clash with the fellow 1-3 team Arizona, it’s worth seeing how past NFL teams that lost three of four out of the gate fared at year’s end. Utilizing Champs or Chumps, looked at how teams ended the season after starting with an 1-3 record since 2012. Eighty-two teams have started 1-3 in the last 10 years.  

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Performance of NFL Teams Starting 1-3

SituationNumber of Teams Percentage
Making The Playoffs11 of 8213.4%
Winning Wild Card Round2 of 1118.2%
Winning Divisional Round0 of 20.0%

The Bengals Super Bowl odds have slipped to +3500, which ranks 12th in the NFL. Arizona, also 1-3, is last in the league at +75000.

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1-3 Starts Unlikely to Lead to Postseason

Based on our research, the overwhelming majority (86.6%) of teams that have started 1-3 over the last 10 years have not made the postseason. Of the 11 to make the postseason, only two made it past the Wild Card round, while none of those teams made it out of the Divisional round.

For the Bengals, that road begins Sunday when they will be a 3.5-point favorite per Caesars Ohio against the Cardinals. From there, the Bengals play 2-1 Seattle (at home) and San Francisco (on the road), with a bye week between. The Bengals could be back to .500 by the time they exit their bye week and take on the 49ers in Santa Clara. A win over San Francisco could very well swing the pendulum on the Bengals’ 2023 season.

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Christopher Boan writes for and has been covering sports and sports betting for more than seven years, with experience at, the Tucson Weekly and the Green Valley News.

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