A home opener for the first time since 2009 and two primetime games are among the notable details of the 2017 Cincinnati Bengals regular-season schedule, which the NFL released Thursday night.
Here’s a week-by-week look at the path the Bengals will take in 2017.
Sept. 10: BALTIMORE
The Bengals requested a home opener to celebrate their 50th season, and the NFL complied. It’s the first time the team has played a division opponent at home to start the season since 2007 when the opponent also was Baltimore.
Sept. 14: HOUSTON (Thursday night)
For some reason the NFL thinks Bengals-Texans has national appeal. It’s the third year in a row the teams have played in primetime (Monday night in 2015, Saturday night on Christmas Eve in 2016).
Sept. 24: at Green Bay
Not only is September better than December weather-wise for a visit to Wisconsin, but Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers has been a slow starter of late, posting a pedestrian 10-7 record in September the last five years.
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Oct. 1: at Cleveland
The Bengals have won three in a row in Cleveland by a combined score of 90-13.
Oct. 8: BUFFALO
The Bills are 4-1 in Cincinnati since Marvin Lewis took over as coach in 2003, including a 16-12 triumph last year that dropped the Bengals to 3-6-1 to end their run of five straight playoff appearances.
Oct. 15: Bye week
This is probably a little earlier than desired, but no one is going to complain about a week off ahead of a game against the Steelers.
Oct. 22: at Pittsburgh
Since 1995 the Bengals are 3-0 when facing the Steelers the week after a bye, and they are 4-2 overall when playing Pittsburgh after a week off.
Oct. 29: INDIANAPOLIS
Could there be a conflict on the riverfront with the Reds hosting Game 5 of the World Series?
Nov. 5: at Jacksonville
A three-game road swing begins against a Jaguars team that hasn’t beaten the Bengals since 2005.
Nov. 12: at Tennessee
The Nashville nightlife and short travel time should make this a popular road trip for Bengals fans. The average temperature in Nashville on Nov. 12 is 62 degrees, in case you’re thinking about going.
Nov. 19: at Denver
This will be just the third time since 1992 the Bengals have played road games in three consecutive weeks. They handled the other two pretty well, going 3-0 against New Orleans, Houston and Tampa Bay in 2014, and 2-1 against San Diego, Pittsburgh and Baltimore (loss) in 2003.
Nov. 26: CLEVELAND
Getting to stay home and playing the Browns are two things to be thankful for to start the holiday season.
Dec. 4: PITTSBURGH (Monday night)
This will be the sixth primetime matchup against the Steelers since the Andy Dalton-A.J. Green era began in 2011. The Bengals are 1-4 in the previous five.
Dec. 10: CHICAGO
The Bengals are 8-1-1 in their last 10 games at Paul Brown Stadium against NFC opponents.
BENGALS DRAFT POSITION PREVIEWS:
- Running backs
- Offensive line
- Wide receivers
- Tight ends
- Defensive tackles
- Defensive ends
- Defensive backs
Dec. 17: at Minnesota
The last time the Bengals won in Minnesota … wait, scratch that. The Bengals have never won in Minnesota (0-5).
Dec. 24: DETROIT
The Bengals have lost four of the last five games they’ve played on Christmas Eve, including last year’s 12-10 defeat at Houston.
Dec. 31: at Baltimore
The Bengals play the Ravens in the season finale for the seventh time in eight years. This will be just the third New Year’s Eve game in franchise history (23-17 overtime loss to Pittsburgh in 2006, 21-13 playoff win against Seattle in 1988).