How'd they do in 2017?
The Bengals went 7-9 last season and finished third in the AFC North (they do share a division with the Cleveland Browns who went winless in 2017). They started the season with a loss against Baltimore but got redemption by ending the season with a win at their division rival. They dropped both to the Steelers who came away with the division pretty easily.
The Bengals' biggest issue going into this offseason was the offensive line. After letting Andrew Whitworth go, they made sure to remedy the mistake this offseason. They traded for Cordy Glenn from the Buffalo Bills, re-signed tight end Tyler Eifert and even hired a new offensive line coach, Frank Pollack, from the Dallas Cowboys – who have had arguably the best offensive line in the league in recent years. Cincinnati also took center Billy Price out of Ohio State with their first pick in the draft. After tearing his pec muscle at the combine, Price has been cleared to play and will be more than ready to go come training camp and the 2018 season.
The offensive line will be important in giving quarterback Andy Dalton time to throw but last season, A.J. Green was about the only option to throw to. Re-signing Tyler Eifert helps and the Bengals will need major contributions from John Ross and Joe Mixon, who the team drafted in 2017. If the offense can be a more cohesive unit, the Bucs could have their hands full in the Queen City.
Anything interesting between the two teams?
The Bucs and Bengals have played a total of 11 times, with Tampa Bay leading the series 7-4. The last time the two teams faced off was in 2014 when the Bengals eked out a 14-13 win at Raymond James Stadium. The Bucs pulled within one after going down 14-10 with a field goal in the beginning of the fourth quarter but both teams would remain stagnant until the final whistle blew.
The Bucs are 5-2 when going to Cincinnati and have won their last four trips up there.
What about off the field?
Cincinnati is famous for their style of chili. Sometimes called 'Skyline Chili,' Cincinnati Chili uses a meat sauce over spaghetti noodles. It was invented by Macedonian immigrants in 1922 and spurs debates from locals and other around the country as to whether the dish is actually chili or not. If you want to see what it looks like, check out our hydraulic press crushing some of the stuff in this video.
So… what if I want to go?
If you want to try Cincinnati Chili after watching that, more power to you. It takes just over two hours to fly into Cincinnati from Tampa International Airport. Paul Brown Stadium is nicknamed "The Jungle" which is just as much based on a Bengal tiger's habitat as it is on the Guns 'N Roses song, "Welcome to the Jungle" that blares over the speakers every game.