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Bengals preseason schedule: 4 game breakdown and roster cut dates

The Bengals open the 2015 preseason tonight with a game against the New York Giants. We take a look at the team's four preseason games and how cuts affect them.

Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

2015 Bengals Preseason schedule

Preseason Week 1: Aug 14 - vs. New York Giants

What to expect: Most likely sloppy play. The only glimpse into the minds of the coaches may come from position battles where guys try and make a statement early. In some of the higher profile battles we could see guys like Marvin Jones and Mohamed Sanu on the field a little longer in the hopes of finding who is the number two option in this passing offense. Likewise in the secondary, we could see the veteran Leon Hall leaving it all on the field to try and take back the spot at the top of the depth chart over Dre Kirkpatrick and Adam Jones. Also look for tight end Tyler Kroft to possibly wow some people with his ability later in the game. The fun starts later on in the preseason where guys are going all out to prove they belong on this team.

Preseason Week 2: Aug 24 - @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers

What to expect: You should see the starters play deep into the second quarter and maybe a series in the second half. This is usually the game where depth charts and cuts are really starting to solidify. If you are a vet still playing at the end of the fourth quarter, this is not a good sign. Again, you will see players on the field a little longer if there is a true toss up position battle happening.

Preseason Week 3: Aug 29 - vs. Chicago Bears

What to expect: This is what is referred to in the league as a "dress rehearsal". While coaches will claim the importance of all the pre-season games, this is the one that will most likely resemble an actual regular season game. Teams will not tip their hats and the style of play calls will still resemble a vanilla ice cream cone rather than a multiple topping banana split, but the starters will be on the field for a majority of the time and position cut decisions will be made.

75-man cuts: Sep 1

What to expect: This is where a team trims the fat. For the most part, players cut here would be long shots and guys who were brought in to fill a spot. The interesting cuts on this day come in the form of veterans and some solid players who are cut as a courtesy by their team. This allows them to catch on earlier with another squad and increase their chances of prolonging their careers. This season, the Bengals may have a couple of surprises here. (Brandon Tate, anyone?)

Preseason Week 4: Sept 3 - @ Indianapolis Colts

What to expect: At this point the stars of the team may only be getting dressed to play and not actually take the field. Many decisions are already made and some guys will really be trying to change minds in this game. I love this game. The realness of the end of the line sets in and you see players leave everything on the field. Everyone knows what happens two days later and this is the closing argument game for players who may not have a shot.

53-man cuts: Sep 5

What to expect: One of the worst days of the year for NFL teams. 22 players on all 32 teams are told they will not be an NFL player. As we have witnessed on Hard Knocks, guys are told to stay by the phone and they pray it does not ring. Some fall through to practice squads, but for most, they need to start looking for another line of work. This is a rough day for bubble players in the NFL.

Bengals regular season schedule:

Week 1: Sep 13 - @ Oakland Raiders
Week 2: Sep 20 - San Diego Chargers
Week 3: Sep 27 - @ Baltimore Ravens
Week 4: Oct 4 - Kansas City Chiefs
Week 5: Oct 11 - Seattle Seahawks
Week 6: Oct 18 - @ Buffalo Bills
Week 7: BYE
Week 8: Nov 1st - @ Pittsburgh Steelers
Week 9: Nov 5 - Cleveland Browns
Week 10: Nov 16 - Houston Texans
Week 11: Nov 22 - @ Arizona Cardinals
Week 12: Nov 29 - St. Louis Rams
Week 13: Dec 6 - @ Cleveland Browns
Week 14: Dec 13 - Pittsburgh Steelers
Week 15: Dec 20 - @ San Fransisco 49ers
Week 16: Dec 28 - @ Denver Broncos
Week 17: Jan 3 - Baltimore Ravens