Their schedule certainly shouldn't get in their way. The Bengals will have to face the entire NFC North, but their most difficult games will all be at Paul Brown Stadium, and there aren't a ton of big tests in the back half of the schedule.
Cincy has made the playoffs in two straight seasons and appear poised to do so again with what looks like a manageable schedule.
|1||Sept. 8||@ Chicago||1 p.m.||CBS|
|2||Sept. 16||vs. Pittsburgh||7:40 p.m.||ESPN|
|3||Sept. 22||vs. Green Bay||1 p.m.||FOX|
|4||Sept. 29||@ Cleveland||1 p.m.||CBS|
|5||Oct. 6||vs. New England||1 p.m.||CBS|
|6||Oct. 13||@ Buffalo||1 p.m.||CBS|
|7||Oct 20||@ Detroit||1 p.m.||FOX|
|8||Oct 27||vs. New York||4:05 p.m.||CBS|
|9||Oct. 31||@ Miami||8:25 p.m.||NFLN|
|10||Nov. 10||@ Baltimore||1 p.m.||CBS|
|11||Nov. 17||vs. Cleveland||1 p.m.||CBS|
|12||Nov. 24||BYE||4:25 p.m.||FOX|
|13||Dec. 1||@ San Diego||4:25 p.m.||CBS|
|14||Dec. 8||vs. Indianapolis||1 p.m.||CBS|
|15||Dec. 15||@ Pittsburgh||8:30 p.m.||NBC|
|16||Dec. 22||vs. Minnesota||1 p.m.||FOX|
|17||Dec. 29||vs. Baltimore||1 p.m.||CBS|
Toughest out: Chicago Bears
It's tough to nail down the toughest game on the Bengals schedule. Most of the difficult games are at home. Plus, the Bengals should have a chance to win each and every Sunday. But their opening game of the season is a tough one. Playing the Chicago Bears on the road will be a good test for this team.
Must win: Week 17 vs. Baltimore Ravens
The Ravens are the team to beat in the AFC North, and the Bengals have a date with them on the final week of the season. Cincy will likely be in the playoffs regardless of the outcome of the last game of the season.
Don't overlook: Cleveland Browns
The Cleveland Browns will be a bigger threat than people realize in the AFC North. They could give the Bengals some trouble when Cincy travels to Cleveland in between home games against the Packers and Patriots. The Browns might be easy to overlook in that scenario, but that would be a mistake for Cincinnati.
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