The NFL released the regular-season schedule for all 32 teams last Thursday night. The Cincinnati Bengals should be pleased, considering they will open the regular season at Paul Brown Stadium for the first time since 2009. Here’s the entire 17-week slate:
2017 Bengals Schedule (All times ET)
Week 1 (Sunday, 9/10) – vs. Baltimore, 1 p.m.
Week 2 (Thursday, 9/14) – vs. Houston, 8:25 p.m.
Week 3 (Sunday, 9/24) – @ Green Bay, 1:00 p.m.
Week 4 (Sunday, 10/1) – @ Cleveland, 1:00 p.m.
Week 5 (Sunday 10/8) – vs. Buffalo, 1:00 p.m.
Week 6 – BYE
Week 7 (Sunday 10/22) – @ Pittsburgh, 1:00 p.m.
Week 8 (Sunday 10/29) – vs. Indianapolis, 1:00 p.m.
Week 9 (Sunday 11/5) – @ Jacksonville, 1:00 p.m.
Week 10 (Sunday 11/12)- @ Tennessee, 1:00 p.m.
Week 11 (Sunday 11/19) – @ Denver, 4:25 p.m.
Week 12 (Sunday 11/26) – vs. Cleveland, 1:00 p.m.
Week 13 (Monday 12/4) – vs. Pittsburgh, 8:30 p.m.
Week 14 (Sunday 12/10) – vs. Chicago, 1:00 p.m.
Week 15 (Sunday 12/17) – @ Minnesota, 1:00 p.m.
Week 16 (Sunday 12/24)- vs. Detroit, 1:00 p.m.
Week 17 (Sunday 12/31) – @ Baltimore, 1:00 p.m.
Aside from back-to-back home games to start the season for the first time since 2001, the Bengals will stay at PBS for both of their prime-time games. In week two, they host the Texans, a team currently without a quarterback but that hasn’t stopped them from winning in Cincinnati in recent years. In 2011 and 2015, T.J. Yates threw game-winning, fourth-quarter touchdowns to squeak out wins in The Jungle.
The Bengals’ other prime-time matchup is a Monday night showdown with division-rival Pittsburgh. Paul Brown Stadium has been friendly to the Steelers, who’ve won seven of the last eight. However, Cincinnati’s last home win over the black and gold was on MNF game in September 2013.
Overall, Cincinnati has home stretches where it can take advantage. Aside from back to back home games to start the season, the Bengals stay in the 513 area code for four of their final six.
It’s hard not to notice that three-week road stretch in November. The three opponents are no pushovers, either. Jacksonville beefed up its defense (again) during free agency while Tennessee and Denver were two of the top non-playoff teams in the conference last year.
Denver has been a house of horror for the Bengals, who’ve lost 10 straight in Mile High dating back to 1975. Cincinnati’s three trips to Denver in the Marvin Lewis era have resulted in three losses by a combined six points.
Lewis’ first road affair should be a fun one. It comes against Aaron Rodgers, who has beaten every team in the NFL except the Bengals. The discount double-checker and his championship belt have thrown 64 touchdowns to just 15 interceptions in 30 career September starts. The Packers have lost just two September home games since 2009, one courtesy of the Bengals and a ‘here today, gone tomorrow’ defensive end named Antwon Odom.