CINCINNATI (WDTN)- The Bengals’ 2014 regular-season schedule was released today by the National Football League. For the third straight year, the schedule includes three national prime-time games, and for the third time in franchise history, two prime-time contests will be home games.
The Bengals will host Cleveland in an NFL Network game on Thurs., Nov. 6, and Denver will visit Paul Brown Stadium in an ESPN contest on Mon., Dec. 22. The other prime-time regular season game (subject to possible flexible scheduling) will be an NBC Sunday Night Football appearance at New England on Oct. 5.
The other seasons in which the Bengals had two prime-time regular-season games at home were 2004 and 2007. This season’s two prime-time home games are fixed, not subject to flexible scheduling.
Including preseason, the Bengals are scheduled to play a total of four prime-time games in 2014. The club visits Arizona on Aug. 24 in an NBC preseason contest. The only time the Bengals have had more than four prime-time games including preseason was in ’07, when there were five — one in preseason and four in the regular season.
Four is the club record for prime-time games in a regular season (home and road), set in 1990 and 2007.
The Bengals will open the regular season on the road for the fifth straight year, visiting Baltimore at 1 p.m. ET on Sun., Sept. 7. It will be the third time since 2007 that Cincinnati has opened against the division rival Ravens.
Cincinnati’s home opener will be on Sun., Sept. 14 at 1 p.m. vs. Atlanta. That will be the only the second time in the last nine seasons for the Bengals to play their home opener against an NFC opponent.
“It’s a challenging start for us, opening at Baltimore,” said head coach Marvin Lewis, “and on the back end we’ve got Pittsburgh twice in the last four games. That’s unusual and could lend a lot of excitement. And of course we’re excited to get two prime-time games in Paul Brown Stadium. Our fans deserve that, and our team can feed off that enthusiasm.”
TV broadcasts of the Bengals’ two games on cable — the regular-season home contests vs. Cleveland and Denver — will also be simulcast in Cincinnati by a local non-cable station, yet to be determined, if the games are sellouts.
The Bengals’ home schedule also features games against non-division opponents Tennessee (Sept. 21), Carolina (Oct. 12) and Jacksonville (Nov. 2).
During Weeks 5-10 of the regular season, the NFL may choose to flex two games (leaguewide total for the six-week period) from Sunday afternoon to Sunday night.
During Weeks 11-17, all Sunday games are subject to possible flex among the three standard kickoff times — early afternoon, late afternoon and night.
CINCINNATI BENGALS 2014 SCHEDULE
All times are Eastern.
An asterisk (*) denotes a game subject to possible flexible scheduling.
PRESEASON (day, date, opponent, time)
Thurs., Aug. 7: at Kansas City, 8 p.m.
Sat., Aug. 16: N.Y. JETS, 7 p.m.
Sun., Aug. 24: at Arizona, 8 p.m. (NBC)
Thurs., Aug. 28: INDIANAPOLIS, 7 p.m.
REGULAR SEASON (day, date, opponent, time)
Sun., Sept. 7: at Baltimore, 1 p.m.
Sun., Sept. 14: ATLANTA, 1 p.m.
Sun., Sept. 21: TENNESSEE, 1 p.m.
Sun., Sept. 28: BYE WEEK
Sun., Oct. 5: at New England, 8:30 p.m. (NBC)*
Sun., Oct. 12: CAROLINA, 1 p.m.*
Sun., Oct. 19: at Indianapolis, 1 p.m.*
Sun., Oct. 26: BALTIMORE, 1 p.m.*
Sun., Nov. 2: JACKSONVILLE, 1 p.m.*
Thurs., Nov. 6: CLEVELAND, 8:25 p.m. (NFL Network)
Sun., Nov. 16: at New Orleans, 1 p.m.*
Sun., Nov. 23: at Houston, 1 p.m.*
Sun., Nov. 30: at Tampa Bay, 1 p.m.*
Sun., Dec. 7: PITTSBURGH, 1 p.m.*
Sun., Dec. 14: at Cleveland, 1 p.m.*
Mon., Dec. 22: DENVER, 8:30 p.m. (ESPN)
Sun., Dec. 28: at Pittsburgh, 1 p.m.*