CINCINNATI, OHIO – The Bengals’ 2016 regular-season schedule, released today by the National Football League, has Cincinnati scheduled for four national prime-time games, tying the franchise record. Two other games are also in high-profile positions, as the Bengals’ Oct. 30 game in London against Washington will be the only NFL game played on Sunday morning (9:30 a.m. ET), and Cincinnati’s Oct. 9 game at Dallas will be the featured game nationally in the 4:25 p.m. time slot.
The Bengals will compete in 2016 for a sixth consecutive playoff berth, one of only four NFL teams with a chance to qualify for the sixth straight year.
“It’s clear from the schedule that we’re a team with a strong national appeal,” said Katie Blackburn, Bengals executive vice-president. “We think that’s an exciting factor for fans in our region, and we also look forward to opening our home season against the defending league champions.”
The Denver Broncos, winners over Carolina in Super Bowl 50, will be Cincinnati’s first home opponent, in a 1 p.m. game on Sept. 25.
The Denver game will be followed on Thurs., Sept. 29 by the first of Cincinnati’s four scheduled national prime-time games, an NFL Network contest at Paul Brown Stadium against the Miami Dolphins. The Bengals are also scheduled at home for a Dec. 18 game vs. Pittsburgh on NBC’s Sunday Night Football.
Cincinnati will play prime-time games on the road on Mon., Nov. 14 at the New York Giants (ESPN) and on Sat., Dec. 24 at Houston (NFL Network).
The Bengals have previously played four national prime-time games in 1990, 2007 and 2015. In 2015, flexible scheduling caused a game at San Francisco to be switched from Sunday night to Sunday afternoon, but a game at Arizona was switched from Sunday afternoon to Sunday night.
Among the four prime-time games this season, only the Sunday night contest at Pittsburgh is subject to possible flexible scheduling.
Including preseason, the Bengals will play a total of five national prime-time games in 2016, as the club will visit Jacksonville on Sun., Aug. 28 in an NBC contest. The total of five prime-time games (including preseason) also ties a franchise record, set previously in 2007 and 2015.
The Bengals will play their first two regular-season games on the road for the first time since 2011, opening with Sunday afternoon games at the New York Jets and Pittsburgh.
Out to defend their 2015 NFC North Division championship, the Bengals will play four of their last six games against division foes, including the season finale at home on Jan. 1 vs. Baltimore.
For a maximum of two weeks during the six-week period of Weeks 5-10, the NFL may choose to flex a Sunday afternoon game to Sunday night, with the originally scheduled Sunday night game moving to Sunday afternoon.
During Weeks 11-17, all Sunday games are subject to possible flex among the three standard kickoff times — early afternoon, late afternoon and night.
TV broadcasts of the Bengals’ three games on cable will also be simulcast in Cincinnati by a local non-cable station, yet to be determined.
Included in today’s announcement are exact dates and times for Cincinnati’s four preseason games.
CINCINNATI BENGALS 2016 SCHEDULE
All times are Eastern; home games in CAPS
An asterisk (*) denotes a game subject to possible flex scheduling.
PRESEASON (day, date, opponent, time)
Fri., Aug. 12: MINNESOTA, 7:30 p.m.
Thurs., Aug. 18: at Detroit, 7:30 p.m.
Sun., Aug. 28: at Jacksonville, 8 p.m. (NBC)
Thurs., Sept. 1: INDIANAPOLIS, 7:30 p.m.
REGULAR SEASON (day, date, opponent, time)
Sun., Sept. 11: at N.Y. Jets, 1 p.m.
Sun., Sept. 18: at Pittsburgh, 1 p.m.
Sun., Sept. 25: DENVER, 1 p.m.
Thurs., Sept. 29: MIAMI, 8:25 p.m. (NFL Network)
Sun., Oct. 9: at Dallas, 4:25 p.m.*
Sun., Oct. 16: at New England, 1 p.m.*
Sun., Oct. 23: CLEVELAND, 1 p.m.*
Sun., Oct. 30: WASHINGTON (London), 9:30 a.m.
Nov. 3-7: (Bye weekend)
Mon., Nov. 14: at N.Y. Giants, 8:30 p.m. (ESPN)
Sun., Nov. 20: BUFFALO, 1 p.m.*
Sun., Nov. 27: at Baltimore, 1 p.m.*
Sun., Dec. 4: PHILADELPHIA, 1 p.m.*
Sun., Dec. 11: at Cleveland, 1 p.m.*
Sun., Dec. 18: PITTSBURGH, 8:30 p.m.* (NBC)
Sat., Dec. 24: at Houston, 8:25 p.m. (NFL Network)
Sun., Jan. 1: BALTIMORE, 1 p.m.*