For the second-straight season, the Cincinnati Bengals will be playing in primetime in Week 2. Last year, things did not go well in the Week 2 on Thursday Night Football at Paul Brown Stadium.
This time, the Bengals will actually have their home opener in Week 2 when they welcome to Baltimore Ravens to PBS.
It will be a revenge game of sorts for both teams, as the Bengals knocked the Ravens out of the playoffs by winning at Baltimore in Week 17 last season.However, that came after the Ravens won in Cincinnati by a 20-0 score in Week 1 of 2017, the Bengals’ first home opener of the Andy Dalton-A.J. Green era. The Bengals will look to prevent that this year while winning their home opener for the first time since 2015.
The Bengals lost their home opener against the Denver Broncos in 2016, which was followed by the debacle home opener against Baltimore in 2017. The Bengals went 4-4 at home last season and 0-2 in primetime games, both of which were at home.
The first primetime loss was a Week 2 game against the Houston Texans, which was a complete disaster and forced the firing of offensive coordinator Ken Zampese. The Bengals were embarrassed on the national stage, once again, and this time it was very bad as it was Texans rookie quarterback Deshaun Watson’s first NFL start and the Bengals scored zero touchdowns for the second week in a row. It was so bad, Zampese became the first coordinator fired in the middle of the season in the Bengals’ 50 year history.
Elsewhere in primetime in 2017, the Bengals lost to the Pittsburgh Steelers on Monday Night Football in Week 13.
This time around the Bengals will look to seek revenge for their embarrassing Thursday Night Football outing and actually beat the Ravens on NFL Network. Of course, knowing it’s the Bengals we’re talking about, it’s on NFL Network and not a nationally broadcasted television channel as many Thursday night games later in the season will be.
While the Bengals vs Ravens rivalry has been fierce and competitive, the two AFC North rivals haven’t played in primetime since the 2012 season. They faced off in Baltimore for a Week 1 affair that season, which saw the Ravens cruise to a 44-13 win. They would go on to win the Super Bowl that season.
Now, the Bengals and Ravens will both look to get back to the postseason after failing to get there in each of the past two seasons. Baltimore has actually missed the playoffs in the past three seasons.
There’s no doubt that whoever wins this Week 2 matchup will have a much-needed boost toward getting back to the postseason.
After Week 2, the Bengals and Ravens will face off again in Week 11.
Why is this significant?
This will be the first time since 2009 the Bengals didn’t start or end the regular season with a matchup vs Baltimore. The Bengals and Ravens have ended their regular seasons against each other in six of the last seven seasons. They’ve faced each other in the regular-season opener three times in the last six seasons.