Bengals now know when and where
CINCINNATI, Ohio -- Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton was asked this week about the upcoming NFL schedule release and if he had any wishes.
“We know who we’re going to be playing, it’s just when we’re going to be playing them,” said Dalton. “Hopefully we’re playing Buffalo early, and playing Chicago early. Hopefully those games aren’t in December.”
Dalton’s wishes were granted.
The Bengals will open the 2013 NFL season on Sept. 8 at Chicago, the NFL announced Thursday night when the league released the entire 2013 schedule.
Cincinnati, coming off of back-to-back playoff appearances, will host Pittsburgh on Sept. 16 in a Monday Night Football game in its home opener at Paul Brown Stadium before the Green Bay Packers and quarterback Aaron Rodgers come to town on Sept. 22.
As for the trip to Buffalo, Dalton and the Bengals will head to Western New York on Oct. 13. The Bengals have three games scheduled for prime time, the same as last season. Besides the Monday Night Football game against Pittsburgh, the Bengals will travel to Miami for a Thursday night Halloween matchup against the Dolphins on Oct. 31. They are also scheduled to play at Pittsburgh on Dec. 15 in a Sunday Night Football game. That game is subject to the NFL’s flexible scheduling.
The Bengals will play the final two games of the regular season – Dec. 22 against Minnesota and Dec. 29 against defending Super Bowl champion Baltimore – at home. It’s just the second time in the last 16 years the Bengals have had the final two games of a season at home. This will be the fourth consecutive season the Bengals and Ravens have played in the regular season finale, and the third straight season the game will be held at PBS.
“It’s exciting to know we’ll open the home schedule against the Steelers on Monday night,” said head coach Marvin Lewis. “We have had some great games against Pittsburgh the last few years, and the atmosphere should be tremendous. And of course I like having the last two at home, but we need to make sure we’re in position to capitalize on that edge.”
The Bengals have been to the postseason three of the last four seasons and four times overall in Lewis’ 10 seasons as head coach but the franchise is still searching for its first playoff win since the 1990 season. It has lost the last two seasons in the wild card round at Houston.
The Bengals will play three of their first five games at home. They will travel to Cleveland on Sept. 29 before coming home to host New England on Oct. 6.
Cincinnati will have a late bye week this season and that means a little extra family time at Thanksgiving. The Bengals host Cleveland on Nov. 17 and then will have Week 12 off before going to San Diego on Dec. 1. It is the second straight season the Bengals have been scheduled a trip to San Diego in the first weekend of December.
REGULAR SEASON (day, date, opponent, time)
Sun., Sept. 8: at Chicago, 1 p.m.
Mon., Sept. 16: PITTSBURGH, 8:40 p.m. (ESPN)
Sun., Sept. 22: GREEN BAY, 1 p.m.
Sun., Sept. 29: at Cleveland, 1 p.m.
Sun., Oct. 6: NEW ENGLAND, 1 p.m.
Sun., Oct. 13: at Buffalo, 1 p.m.
Sun., Oct. 20: at Detroit, 1 p.m.
Sun., Oct. 27: N.Y. JETS, 4:05 p.m.
Thurs., Oct. 31: at Miami, 8:25 p.m. (NFLN)
Sun., Nov. 10: at Baltimore, 1 p.m.
Sun., Nov. 17: CLEVELAND*, 1 p.m.
Sun., Nov. 24: BYE WEEK
Sun., Dec. 1: at San Diego*, 4:25 p.m.
Sun., Dec. 8: INDIANAPOLIS*, 1 p.m.
Sun., Dec. 15: at Pittsburgh*, 8:30 p.m. (NBC)
Sun., Dec. 22: MINNESOTA*, 1 p.m.
Sun., Dec. 29: BALTIMORE*, 1 p.m.