Opening on the road for the seventh consecutive year and playing four prime-time games are among the notable details of the 2016 Cincinnati Bengals schedule, which the NFL released Thursday night.
Here’s a week-by-week look at the path the Bengals will take through the season toward what they hope will be a sixth consecutive playoff berth.
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Sept. 11: at New York Jets
The Bengals open the season on the road for the seventh consecutive year and do so in New York on the 15-year anniversary of 9/11 against a Jets team that has beaten them in nine of the last 11 games.
Sunday, Sept. 18: at Pittsburgh
The much-anticipated rematch with the Steelers will occur with Bengals linebacker Vontaze Burfict still serving a three-game suspension for repeated violations of player-safety rules, the last of which concussed Pittsburgh wide receiver Antonio Brown in the Steelers’ 18-16 wild-card win.
Sept. 25: DENVER
The Bengals play their home opener against the defending Super Bowl champions. It’s the fourth time in franchise history Cincinnati has played two road games before its home opener (2011, 1996, 1979).
Sept. 29: MIAMI (Thursday night)
The last time the Bengals played Miami on a Thursday night, things didn’t go so well. Geno Atkins suffered a season-ending ACL injury and the Dolphins won 22-20 on a walk-off safety in overtime when Cameron Wake sacked Andy Dalton in the end zone on Halloween in 2013.
Oct. 9: at Dallas
The Bengals haven’t won in Dallas since their last Super Bowl season in 1988.
Oct. 16: at New England
The drought in New England has been even longer. The Bengals haven’t won there since 1986. The game will be a homecoming of sorts for Cincinnati wide receiver Brandon LaFell, who played for the Patriots in 2014 and 2015.
Oct. 23: CLEVELAND
The day after his 51st birthday, former Bengals offensive coordinator Hue Jackson makes his return to Paul Brown Stadium. It will be the first of two consecutive games the Bengals play against one of their former offensive coordinators.
Oct. 30: WASHINGTON
The Bengals jump across the pond to face former offensive coordinator Jay Gruden and the Redskins at Wembley Stadium in London. The game will air at 9:30 a.m. in Ohio.
Nov. 6: Bye
All teams traveling to London are given the opportunity to have their bye follow the long trip, and the Bengals accepted the offer.
Nov. 14: at New York Giants (Monday night)
The Bengals make their second trip to MetLife Stadium. It will be the first time since the 1989 season finale in Minnesota they have played an NFC team on Monday Night Football.
Nov. 20: BUFFALO
Cincinnati will be looking for its fourth consecutive win against a Bills team that had won the previous 10 matchups from 1989 to 2010.
Nov. 27: at Baltimore
This will be the longest the Bengals and Ravens have waited for their first meeting. The teams have played in September three of the last four seasons and six of nine.
Dec. 4: PHILADELPHIA
The last time the Eagles came to Paul Brown Stadium in 2008, the game ended in a 13-13 tie. Philadelphia has never won in Cincinnati, going 0-3-1.
Dec. 11: at Cleveland
Not exactly an ideal December destination, but it’s hard to imagine the Browns being competitive in 2016, so this could be a chance for the Bengals to ease into the stretch drive.
Dec. 18: PITTSBURGH (Sunday night)
Counting last year’s playoff game, this will be the fifth year in a row the Bengals and Steelers have met in prime time. Pittsburgh is 4-1 in that stretch.
Dec. 24: at Houston (Saturday night)
The last time the Bengals played a road game on Christmas Eve, a botched extra point in the snow in Denver cost them a playoff berth in 2006.
Jan. 1: BALTIMORE
It’s getting to the point where you can pretty much pencil this one in. It’s the fifth time in six years the Bengals have closed the season with a home game against the Ravens. Cincinnati is 3-1 in the previous four.
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