The Cincinnati Bengals are one of the most-talented teams in the NFL.  This has even led to expectations of those surrounding deep playoff runs, and a second consecutive AFC North title.

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Expectations have even gone as far as winning the Super Bowl.  While these may or may not be justified, the Bengals have already suffered their first loss of the season and go into Week 2 with a tough matchup against the Baltimore Ravens.

This week in the NFL betting, SBR is focusing on the Cincinnati Bengals.  Be sure to get the latest team news and betting line movement by following SBR forum

Bengals in NFL actionNow is Not the Time to Worry

The Cincinnati Bengals have arguably the toughest initial two football matchups in the 2010-11 NFL season.  After all, the New England Patriots and Baltimore Ravens are no pushovers, and represent a couple of other popular Super Bowl prediction teams as well.

The Bengals are a team of a lot of changes and development, and it showed against the Patriots.

The well-oiled machine in New England suffered no turnovers, while Cincinnati lost a fumble and threw an interception.  The ever-important 3rd down efficiency statistic also swayed toward the Eastern coast team's way - 9-13 for the Pats and a sober 8-15 for the Bengals.

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With the Bengals having probably the most talented 1-2 WR punch in the NFL, with Chad Ochocino and Terrell Owens, growing pains will be necessary.  They will also be much more preferred in Week 1 than in the postseason.

The reaction of Owens was particularly encouraging - Owens was outdone by Ochocinco who got 159 yards over 12 receptions for 1 touchdown, where Owens only caught 7 passes for 53 yards in this high-scoring affair.

"Apologies to Cincy fans" Owens stated in a tweet, adding, "tough loss today, only week 1, we've a long season ahead, all of you be blessed, 1 luv."

That's exactly the kind of attitude you want from a player harassed by events in his past NFL career.  

It is a long season.  LB Keith Rivers and DE Jonathan Fanene need to get healthy for the defense, while RB Brian Leonard and the ever-important Cedric Benson need to as well offensively.

Looking Ahead

The upbuilding of the Cincinnati Bengals will be played out through the NFL season.

Sunday's matchup against the Baltimore Ravens will be an early test of the offensive and defensive efficiency of the Bengals.

It was nice to see how Palmer, Benson, Ochocinco, and Owens matched up against the potent Ravens defense.  The defensively-dominated game was edged out by the Bengals, who looked great against Baltimore and beat them in their own game.

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Either way, as Owens stated, the season is long.  The Bengals have a lot more important things to look forward to than proving everyone right or wrong.  Super Bowl champions are not made in Week 1, much to the disappointment of teams like the Houston Texans, who managed who grind out the victory once again against the Redskins.

Next, the Cincinnati Bengals face the Carolina Panthers, Cleveland Browns, and Tampa Bay Bucs before their bye week.

For a team that is looking to build up in terms of efficiency and chemistry - how can you not like their chances to improve looking forward?