Cincinnati Bengals schedule analysis

April, 17, 2012
4/17/12
8:44
PM ET
Breakdown: Don't play that lack of respect card this year Who Dey nation. After not making a prime-time appearance last season, the Bengals were rewarded with three after a surprising run to the playoffs. The last time the Bengals had more prime-time games was 2007, when they had four.

Cincinnati opens the season on Monday night at Baltimore, plays a home Sunday night game against Pittsburgh on Oct. 21 and a Thursday night game at Philadelphia on Dec. 13. The most shocking part of the Bengals' schedule is that the return of Carson Palmer to Paul Brown Stadium on Nov. 25 isn't on national television.

The Bengals will find out where they stand in the AFC North early -- four division games are in the first seven weeks of the season. Cincinnati then goes nine weeks without facing an AFC North team until it finishes at Pittsburgh and home against Baltimore.

Complaint department: There really isn't much to complain about. Four of the Bengals' first six games are on the road. But that could also be considered the easy part of the schedule, with only one of those road games against a playoff team from last season. After playing at Baltimore, the Bengals travel to Washington, Jacksonville and Cleveland.

Sellout streak?: It's no secret that the Bengals have had trouble selling tickets. Only two home games last season weren't blacked out (and one was the result of a "buy one, get one free" promotion). But there's no excuse for a lack of sellouts this year. The Bengals have a three-game home stretch in the middle of the season when Ben Roethlisberger, Peyton Manning and Eli Manning come to town. If the Bengals can't pack the stadium for those games, there's a major problem in Cincinnati.

Bengals Regular-Season Schedule (All times Eastern)
Week 1: Monday, Sept. 10, at Baltimore, 7:00 PM
Week 2: Sunday, Sept. 16, Cleveland, 1:00 PM
Week 3: Sunday, Sept. 23, at Washington, 1:00 PM
Week 4: Sunday, Sept. 30, at Jacksonville, 4:05 PM
Week 5: Sunday, Oct. 7, Miami, 1:00 PM
Week 6: Sunday, Oct. 14, at Cleveland, 1:00 PM
Week 7: Sunday, Oct. 21, Pittsburgh, 8:20 PM
Week 8: BYE
Week 9: Sunday, Nov. 4, Denver, 1:00 PM
Week 10: Sunday, Nov. 11, NY Giants, 1:00 PM
Week 11: Sunday, Nov. 18, at Kansas City, 1:00 PM
Week 12: Sunday, Nov. 25, Oakland, 1:00 PM
Week 13: Sunday, Dec. 2, at San Diego, 4:15 PM
Week 14: Sunday, Dec. 9, Dallas, 1:00 PM
Week 15: Thursday, Dec. 13, at Philadelphia, 8:20 PM
Week 16: Sunday, Dec. 23, at Pittsburgh, 1:00 PM
Week 17: Sunday, Dec. 30, Baltimore, 1:00 PM

Jamison Hensley

ESPN Ravens reporter

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