Carolina Panthers at Cincinnati Bengals
Baker Mayfield is no stranger to the Cincinnati Bengals having come up against them plenty during his stint in the AFC North. But this is a far different team from years past following a superb offseason of recruitment after coming within touching distance of a shock Super Bowl triumph.
The Bengals were nothing short of sensational in the postseason. Had it not been for an unproductive offensive line, then they might have won it all.
This was recognized by the front office, too. They invested heavily in the big guys in front of quarterback Joe Burrow, which could make a massive difference as they look to go one better next time around.
The Carolina Panthers will be heavy underdogs for this particular contest. But having no expectations might actually be a good thing in the face of such stern opposition who are riding on the crest of a wave.
Prediction: Lose (6-3)
It might provide Mayfield and his teammates with enough freedom to stay competitive against a legitimate Super Bowl challenger. However, there is just too much firepower across the board on the Bengals to suggest that Carolina is capable of pulling off a substantial upset on their travels.