Yes, I understand why the Bengals do not have any primetime games this season. Starting the season 0-8 obviously hurts, but look at the point differentials (chart below) of the games we lost. In seven of the 11 losses, the Bengals lost by ten points or more; in four of those losses, they lost by 28 points or more and their last two losses, the Bengals lost by combined 62 points.
|3||@ NY Giants||23-26 OT||-3|
|6||@ NY Jets||14-26||-12|
Most likely, our squad will be better in 2009 than they were in 2008; basic understanding of going from Ryan Fitzpatrick to Carson Palmer at quarterback leads that thought process. However, it doesn't seem likely that the NFL will schedule games based on expectations; rather popularity, and the most competitive teams in 2008, with an emphasis on how they performed on respective primetime games that year.
Joe Reedy doesn't see the logic on why the Browns got two Primetime games. For the most part, considering that the Browns and Bengals ended the season with only four wins, it makes sense to question the schedule makers on this. However, I have a theory based on the latter on the paragraph above. There could be an influence from the Browns 35-14 win on Monday Night football during week six; the Giants went into that game undefeated. Their second appearance on Monday Night Football was a two-point win against Buffalo after a Phil Dawson 56-yard field goal with over a minute left in the game. Both teams scored twenty-seven points in the final quarter. Ratings baby. And competitive games bring big ratings.
Is that the reason the Browns got a Monday Night and Thursday Night game? I'm honestly not sure. But I wouldn't be surprised if that was the logic the NFL used in giving them two games.
The final game of the season against the NY Jets will be the latest in franchise history that the Bengals close the regular season (January 3).
Cincinnati will be the first team to get a glimpse at the Cutler-less Denver Broncos.
Based on the schedule, Dave predicts a 7-9 season.
The Bengals will play at four locations that they've never won at before -- Green Bay (0-4), Minnesota (0-4), Oakland (0-9) and New Jersey's Giant Stadium (0-10). That's 0-27. Ouch.