What the NFL schedules tell us about the future of the Bengals

04/24/2014 10:22 AM

It’s the NFL’s world and we’re just living in it. It’s April and the season doesn’t begin until September. Yet, most of us spent all day Tuesday waiting for the NFL to make their announcement of when they will announce their 2014 schedule on their own TV network. We then all counted down the hours to that announcement in anticipation.

That being said, here’s a look at your Bengals 2014 regular season schedule:

Week 1: Sept. 7, 1 pm at Ravens
Week 2: Sept. 14, 1 pm vs. Falcons
Week 3: Sept. 21, 1 pm vs. Titans
Week 4: BYE
Week 5: Oct. 5, 8:30 pm at Patriots
Week 6: Oct. 12, 1 pm vs. Panthers
Week 7: Oct. 19, 1 pm at Colts
Week 8: Oct. 26, 1 pm vs. Ravens
Week 9: Nov. 2, 1 pm vs. Jaguars
Week 10: Nov. 6, 8:25 pm vs. Browns
Week 11: Nov. 16, 1 pm at Saints
Week 12: Nov. 23, 1 pm at Texans
Week 13: Nov. 30, 1 pm at Buccaneers
Week 14: Dec. 7, 1 pm vs. Steelers
Week 15: Dec. 14, 1 pm at Browns
Week 16: Dec. 22, 8:30 pm vs. Broncos
Week 17: Dec. 28, 1 pm at Steelers

A few important things to note about the schedule:

1. That’s a VERY early bye week. A week 4 bye makes for a much different schedule than last year when Cincinnati had a week 12 bye. Last season, the team set a goal of going undefeated after the bye week at 5-0… this year that goal would look like 13-0. The potential good news about the timing of the bye week is they’ll get an extra week to prepare for their week 5 primetime match-up against Tom Brady and the Patriots in New England.

2. The Bengals drew Patriots, Broncos and Browns for primetime games. Cincinnati typically doesn’t perform well in primetime, and this year they get a shot to change that and prove they belong in the spotlight. A lot of eyes will be on how Andy Dalton performs this season and there’s no bigger test than matching him up with Tom Brady and Peyton Manning on the national stage. The Broncos game also has the potential to carry playoff implications. A Bengals-Browns primetime match-up doesn’t sound as glamorous as the other two; but preceding three straight road games makes this game important for Cincinnati to put themselves in the best position possible before closing out the season almost entirely on the road.

3. They’ll finish the season with a road trip grind. To close out 2014, after three straight games at home, the Bengals will go on the road for three straight AND five of the last seven. Not to mention, two of their last four games will be played against Pittsburgh. Steelers-Bengals rivalry games almost always means something. Without question, anyone familiar with the AFC North can easily picture that December 28 match-up with the Steelers as winner takes all.


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