An early look at your Super Bowl LI winners ... the Cincinnati Bengals?

CINCINNATI -- You know what they always say; the sixth straight time is always the charm.

Or so ESPN's Dan Graziano believes.

As part of his 10 (very early) predictions for the 2016 season that were posted Monday morning, Graziano has looked into his crystal ball and seen the future. That future has the Cincinnati Bengals -- owners of five straight postseason one-and-dones -- winning (yes, winning) Super Bowl LI.

Twice in their franchise's 48 seasons the Bengals have made it to the big game. Who Dey Nation cringes whenever it's reminded of how close they came to beating the San Francisco 49ers in Super Bowls XVI and XXIII. The games were decided by a combined nine points.

Aside from those two seasons, the Bengals have been the definition of postseason mediocrity. Only once in its 12 other playoff trips has Cincinnati advanced a round. It came during the 1990 playoffs, when the Bengals went from the wild-card round to the divisional. The win over the Houston Oilers marked the final time the Bengals won a playoff game. In seven trips since, they have lost in the opening round. Marvin Lewis, the coach who has led them to all seven of those trips, last month became the first coach to go 0-7 in the postseason.

This most recent playoff defeat was the most gutting and may have preceded a personnel exodus that will only make getting to Super Bowl LI all the more difficult.

A costly fumble and a pair of penalties in the final minute and a half of this year's wild-card game against the Pittsburgh Steelers did in the Bengals. Had none of those miscues happened, Cincinnati likely would have held on win and could have even rumbled all the way to the Bay Area for Super Bowl 50.

In the month since the loss, the Bengals have already lost several coaches, including offensive coordinator Hue Jackson, who became the Cleveland Browns' head coach. Although Lewis was able to replace the departed with an experienced group that includes former head coaches and coordinators Jim Haslett, Bill Lazor and Kevin Coyle, the area that provided the Bengals their most stability last offseason -- coaching -- has already been in flux.

More changes appear to be on the horizon, with veteran free agents potentially commanding more than the organization is willing to pay. Players like Marvin Jones and George Iloka certainly will be worth significant bumps to their salaries, but the value they could receive on the open market might be too much for the Bengals to bring them and others back.

When you consider all of these changes and reflect on the fact more of the Bengals' younger players will be relied on in 2016, you do have to wonder if a Super Bowl LI run really will be in the cards. Games against the lowly NFC East provide them with a significantly easier schedule than they had in 2015, so don't be surprised if they make the playoffs again. But will they have a Super Bowl team? On paper and in practice, the group the Bengals assembled this past year could turn out to be significantly better.

And that group made it just as far as the four Bengals teams before them.

People in Cincinnati hope Graziano is right, but they have good reason to be pessimistic.