49ers schedule: Ranking the 5 toughest games in 2023
By Peter Panacy
Week 8 -- Bengals @ 49ers: Sunday, Oct. 29
Perusing most NFL power rankings, it's common to find the Kansas City Chiefs at No. 1 and likely the Philadelphia Eagles at No. 2.
In spot Nos. 3 through 5, it's typically a jockeying between the Niners, Buffalo Bills and Cincinnati Bengals.
Cincy, a team that has had a San Francisco-like heartbreak end to each of the last two postseasons, is still loaded with quarterback Joe Burrow and an array of pass-catching weapons at his disposal. And with a revamped offensive line in front of him, 2023 could be the season in which he legitimately competes for an MVP award.
That alone isn't the reason why Week 8's bout at Levi's Stadium is challenging, though.
The 49ers will be visiting the Minnesota Vikings on Monday Night Football the previous week, meaning a return-home game against the Bengals will be on a short week.