The Cincinnati Bengals surprised many last season by advancing to their first Super Bowl since 1988 before falling to the Los Angeles Rams 23-20. Despite the disappointing finish, the Bengals, led by rising superstars in quarterback Joe Burrow and wide receiver Ja’Marr Chase, will be out to prove that last year’s success was no fluke.
Here’s a look at Cincinnati’s schedule with dates, times, opponents, and analysis:
Week 1 – vs. Pittsburgh Steelers
Date: Sunday, Sept. 11 Time: 1:00 p.m. ET
The Bengals open things up against their AFC North Division rival, who, for the first time in 18 years, will not have quarterback Ben Roethlisberger at the helm. Cincinnati has won the last three meetings against Pittsburgh.
Week 2 – @ Dallas Cowboys
Date: Sunday, Sept. 18 Time: 4:25 p.m. ET
Joe Burrow battles America’s team for the first time in his young career. This will be Cincinnati’s first trip to Dallas since October of 2016.
Week 3 – @ New York Jets
Date: Sunday, Sept. 25 Time: 1:00 p.m. ET
Week 3 sees the Bengals face off against former fan favorite C.J. Uzomah and the New York Jets. New York should improve significantly following an impressive draft haul that includes wide receiver Garrett Wilson, cornerback Ahmad Gardner, defensive end Jermaine Johnson II, and running back Breece Hall. Cincinnati was upset by the Jets 34-31 last season.
Week 4 – vs. Miami Dolphins
Date: Thursday, Sept. 29 Time: 8:15 p.m. ET
It’ll be a short week for the Bengals as they host the new-look Miami Dolphins on Thursday Night Football. This will be the first meeting between 2020 draftees and former SEC rivals Burrow and Tua Tagovailoa.
Week 5 – @ Baltimore Ravens
Date: Sunday, Oct. 9 Time: 8:20 p.m. ET
Cincinnati will have ten days rest before its second straight primetime contest – a divisional clash against the Baltimore Ravens. The Bengals went 2-0 against an injury-ravaged Ravens team last year, outscoring Baltimore 82-38. It was Cincinnati’s first sweep of the Ravens since 2014.
Week 6 – @ New Orleans Saints
Date: Sunday, Oct. 16 Time: 1:00 p.m. ET
The last time these two teams met (2018), New Orleans lit up the Bengals for 51 points. However, this is a vastly different Saints squad with head coach Sean Payton no longer roaming the sideline and legendary quarterback Drew Brees nearly two years into his retirement.
Week 7 – vs. Atlanta Falcons
Date: Sunday, Oct. 23 Time: 1:00 p.m. ET
Perhaps the easiest matchup the Bengals will have all season. The Falcons are clearly in rebuilding mode and were outscored by 146 points in 2021.
Week 8 – @ Cleveland Browns
Date: Monday, Oct. 31 Time: 8:15 p.m. ET
Another primetime divisional showdown. Cincinnati had one of its worst performances of the season last year against the Browns, falling 41-16 in Week 9. The big question, however, is whether Cleveland quarterback Deshaun Watson will be the man under center.
Week 9 – vs. Carolina Panthers
Date: Sunday, Nov. 6 Time: 1:00 p.m. ET
This will be the first meeting between the two teams since September 2018 – a 31-21 Panthers victory. Current Carolina starter Sam Darnold won his first and only career start against the Bengals while a member of the Jets.
Week 10 – BYE
Week 11 – @ Pittsburgh Steelers
Date: Sunday, Nov. 20 Time: 8:20 p.m. ET
The Bengals return from their bye week for the year’s final meeting against Pittsburgh on Sunday Night Football. This is also the start of a run that will see six of Cincinnati’s final eight games against teams that qualified for last year’s postseason.
Week 12 – @ Tennessee Titans
Date: Sunday, Nov. 27 Time: 1:00 p.m. ET
A rematch of last year’s AFC Divisional Game. Fortunately, the Bengals will not have to deal with wide receiver A.J. Brown, who the Titans traded to Philadelphia on draft night. In a losing effort, Brown torched Cincinnati’s defense for 142 yards and a touchdown.
Week 13 – vs. Kansas City Chiefs
Date: Sunday, Dec. 4 Time: 4:25 p.m. ET
Another postseason rematch. Cincinnati shocked Kansas City in last year’s AFC Championship Game. However, the Chiefs will look a little different this year, with star wide receiver Tyreek Hill traded to the Miami Dolphins in the offseason.
Week 14 – vs. Cleveland Browns
Date: Sunday, Dec. 11 Time: 1:00 p.m. ET
The Bengals battle the Browns for a second time in what could be a crucial divisional matchup this late in the season.
Week 15 – @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Date: Sunday, Dec. 18 Time: 4:25 p.m. ET
Joe Burrow and Tom Brady will face off for the first time in their respective careers. Don’t be surprised if you often hear “passing of the torch” this week. Brady is 7-1 all-time against the Bengals.
Week 16 – @ New England Patriots
Date: Sunday, Dec. 24 Time: 1:00 p.m. ET
This will be the first meeting between the two teams since 2019 – a 34-13 Patriots victory. This game could have playoff implications for both teams, with New England projected to be, at a minimum, in the wild-card mix.
Week 17 – vs. Buffalo Bills
Date: Monday, Jan. 2 Time: 8:30 p.m. ET
Cincinnati’s final primetime game of the season will likely be its toughest with potentially home-field advantage in the playoffs at stake, as last season’s AFC Champ takes on this season’s favorite.
Week 18 – vs. Baltimore Ravens
Date: Sunday, Jan. 8 Time: TBA
The AFC North could very well come down to this matchup as the Ravens should be much healthier than they were last season and right back in the thick of the division race.
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