The NFL has announced the entire 2016 preseason schedule.
Early April is typically when the league announces the slate of preseason action, and we now know who the Cincinnati Bengals' four tune-up opponents will be this coming season. As has annually been the case, the Bengals will face mostly teams on the east coast to limit the travel fans and teams will have to do for a mere preseason game. And, as always, the Bengals will conclude the preseason with a game against the Indianapolis Colts.
Bengals preseason schedule
Aug. 11-15: vs. Minnesota
Aug. 18-22: at Detroit
Aug. 28: Sunday Night Football at Jacksonville
Sept. 1-2: vs. Indianapolis
The Bengals' preseason slate will open at home vs the Minnesota Vikings, dubbing this the Mike Zimmer Bowl. This will be the first time Zimmer has faced his old club as a head coach, and you can bet emotions will be running high on both sides.
The second preseason game will see Cincy travel to face the Detroit Lions. This will be a reunion of sorts after star receiver Marvin Jones left this offseason to sign with Detroit after a productive four-year career in the Queen City.
The third preseason game features a Sunday night affair with the Jacksonville Jaguars in Florida. This will be the all-important third preseason game for the Bengals as they take on an up-and-coming Jaguars team that features an explosive offense. This will also be Cincinnati's lone primetime TV game of the preseason.
The preseason finale will see the Bengals take on the Colts. This year, the annual I-75 rivalry game will be played in Cincinnati. The Bengals and Colts have played the preseason finale every year throughout Marvin Lewis' tenure in Cincinnati and this will be the 24th meeting in the last 25 years.
Thanks to a new rule implemented last year, the NFL will continue its suspension of their blackout policy this year, meaning that preseason home games, which are hardly ever sold out, will be shown live -- rather than on tape delay in the Cincinnati area.
As for the regular season schedule, that's expected to be released within the next two weeks, so we'll soon know every game Cincinnati will play in this year. Here is a recap of the Bengals' 2016 opponents:
|Baltimore Ravens||Baltimore Ravens|
|Cleveland Browns||Cleveland Browns|
|Pittsburgh Steelers||Pittsburgh Steelers|
|Buffalo Bills||New England Patriots|
|Miami Dolphins||New York Jets|
|Philadelphia Eagles||Dallas Cowboys|
|Washington (in London - Week 8)||New York Giants|
|Denver Broncos||Houston Texans|
As of now, Cincinnati's 2016 schedule is viewed as one of the easiest any NFL team has thanks to the NFC East and AFC East being on deck after poor 2015 seasons, except for New England of course.