The NFL released the 2013 regular season schedule for all 32 teams on Thursday, including every prime time games. The Bengals have an interesting schedule with three home games during the first five weeks, and then another three at home during the final five weeks of the regular season. For the fourth time in as many seasons, the Bengals will end the regular season against the Ravens.
Let's take a look at five most important games of the 2013 season with postseason implications.
STEELERS AT BENGALS (Monday, September 16, 2013): The Cincinnati Bengals will face their first division test when the Steelers prance into town for Cincinnati's lone Monday Night Football game of the year. It will be the first game since Cincinnati eliminated Pittsburgh from the playoffs last season and claimed their second postseason berth in as many seasons.
PATRIOTS AT BENGALS (Sunday, October 6, 2013): If teams were divided into tiers, the Bengals are placed as that team below the tier that the New England Patriots consistently house. However this is a big meeting for a young Bengals team looking to prove that they belong with the best in the AFC. It could also have seeding implications if the Bengals win the AFC North.
COLTS AT BENGALS (Sunday, December 8, 2013): With the Colts vying for a division crown against the Houston Texans and the Bengals doing the same against the Ravens, the meeting between the Bengals and Colts may have significance for the wild card -- if both teams are forced down the wild card scenario to reach the postseason.
BENGALS AT STEELERS (Sunday, December 15, 2013): Thirteen games deep into the season and we'll have a good idea where both teams are at. Will the Steelers hover around despite their losses during offseason? Can the Bengals avoid sustained injuries and grow into a critical year three for Andy Dalton? Obviously this has division, if not wild card implications.
RAVENS AT BENGALS (Sunday, December 29, 2013): Cincinnati will meet the Baltimore Ravens for the fourth time in as many seasons during the regular season finale. Last year's game was meaningless for both teams, but the Bengals narrowly missed the 2011 postseason after losing a must-win game, only to slide in after Oakland's loss. Yet this game could have the biggest impact for the AFC North of the year.
Name your five.