The NFL released the 2018 season schedules for all 32 teams this past Thursday. Here’s a week-by-week look at the Bengals’ schedule.
- Week 1: at Indianapolis, Sunday (September 9th), 1:00pm ET
- Week 2: vs. Baltimore, Thursday (September 13th), 8:25pm ET
- Week 3: at Carolina, Sunday (September 23rd), 1:00pm ET
- Week 4: at Atlanta, Sunday (September 30th), 1:00pm ET
- Week 5: Miami, Sunday (October 7th), 1:00pm ET
- Week 6: Pittsburgh, Sunday (October 14th), 1:00pm ET
- Week 7: at Kansas City, Sunday (October 21st), 1:00pm ET
- Week 8: Tampa Bay, Sunday (October 28th), 1:00pm ET
- Week 9: BYE
- Week 10: New Orleans, Sunday (November 11th), 1:00pm ET
- Week 11: at Baltimore, Sunday (November 18th), 1:00pm ET
- Week 12: Cleveland, Sunday (November 25th), 1:00pm ET
- Week 13: Denver, Sunday (December 2nd), 1:00pm ET
- Week 14: at Los Angeles (Chargers), Sunday (December 9th), 4:05pm ET
- Week 15: Oakland, Sunday (December 16th), 1:00pm ET
- Week 16: at Cleveland, Sunday (December 23rd), 1:00pm ET
- Week 17: at Pittsburgh, Sunday (December 30th), 1:00pm ET
Some notes on what this means for the Bengals:
A common refrain you’ll hear regarding teams’ bye weeks is that setting them too early or late can be disadvantageous. What’s the point of having a mid-season break if it isn’t actually mid-season? Last season, the Bengals’ bye came towards the front of the pack: Week 6. Five games before the break, eleven games after. Not ridiculously early, but early enough to warrant some complaint.
That won’t be the case this season, with their bye week falling cleanly in the middle of the season. Eight games before, eight games after. It’s one of a couple nice breaks for the Bengals that this schedule brings.
Last season, the Bengals played three consecutive road games (at Jacksonville, at Tennessee, at Denver) followed by three consecutive home games (Cleveland, Pittsburgh, Chicago). While the latter is more of a positive break, no team wants to spend three consecutive weeks playing in a foreign stadium. That won’t be a problem this season, with the Bengals never spending more than two consecutive games at home or on the road.
The three-game road stretch in 2017 resulted in three losses for the Bengals. With any luck, the structure of this schedule will help protect the 2018 team from a similar bad streak.
Lack of Prime Time Appearances
Aside from their Week 2 tilt against Baltimore for Thursday Night Football, the Bengals aren’t guaranteed to have any nationally-televised games in 2018. Their Week 13 game in Los Angeles is the only other time they’re guaranteed to play outside the 1:00pm Sunday time slot.
They can always be flexed in the latter weeks, sure, but it’s a strong indication of what the schedule brain trust expect from the Bengals in 2018.