If the Bengals have one thing go right for them this season, its that they won’t be putting too many miles on the team bus.
CBS Sports came out with a list of the NFL’s most difficult travel schedules. The Raiders travel the longest distance, at a whopping 31,732 miles between all of their away games and a “home” game in London.
The Bengals are on the lower end of the spectrum, with only 8,308 miles on their schedule. Interestingly, the two teams on the bottom of this list, the Panthers (6,938 miles) and the Falcons (8,250 miles) will host the Bengals in back-to-back weeks in September. It is also interesting to note that these three teams combined (24,496 miles) will travel fewer miles than the Raiders.
Not only do the Bengals travel only a few miles, but the only have one road trip that exceeds 2,000 miles when they go to Los Angeles to play the Chargers on December 9th.
According to CBS’ John Breech, “Over the past four years (2014-17), teams that got stuck on a one-way flight of 2,000 miles or more for a road game had a winning percentage of just .398 (43-65). The winning percentage for all other road teams in that span was 40 points better at .438 (395-507-2).”
So what makes a long flight such a hassle for teams?
“Basically, being in a plane for five or more hours is a perfect recipe for disaster: Your sleep schedule is thrown off, your eating schedule changes and your joints get stiff from sitting down for so long.”
The Bengals lucked out with their travel schedule, playing seven out of eight away games within a 600 mile radius. The only road trip the Bengals will take that will exceed this radius will be to Los Angeles, with 2,185 miles between Paul Brown Stadium and Stub Hub Center. Long road trip aside, most people would probably rather be in California in December than in Ohio anyways.
The Bengals will open the season with a quick jaunt to Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis for their game against the Colts on September 9th, which is only 112 miles away from PBS. Then they will travel to Charlotte for their September 23rd game in Bank of America Stadium 477 miles away. Their next game is a week later in Atlanta on September 30th, another 242 miles down the road.
Between the three road trips in September, the Bengals only home game is in Week 2. October and November will be the easiest months in 2018, with the only road trips for their game against the Chiefs on October 21st (583 miles to Arrowhead Stadium) and to Baltimore on November 18th (506 miles to M&T Bank Stadium).
The worst month for travel will be in December. After the rip to San Diego (which amounts for about half of the miles) the Bengals will go to Cleveland to play the Browns on December 23rd (252 miles to First Energy Stadium). They will then end their season in Pittsburgh on December 30th (136 miles from First Energy Stadium to Heinz Field).
The Bengals didn’t totally make out like bandits, however. They will bookend their schedule with two months of three road games each. Not to mention that of the six games against teams that made the playoffs last year, four of them are on the road. But taking the miles into account, the Bengals look like their are in good shape.