Bengals 2013 schedule: Easy slate should make Cincy a playoff lock

Andy Lyons

The Bengals are lucky enough to have most of their tough games at home in 2013.

There's a new team rising to the top of the AFC North. The Ravens and the Steelers have won Super Bowls in recent years, but the Cincinnati Bengals may be knocking on that door in 2012.

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.

Week Date Opponent Time (ET) TV
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.

For all of your Bengals news, make sure to head to Cincy Jungle.

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