Turns out, the NFL is not focusing on only AFC vs. NFC games to kick off the season.
The #NFL is not matching NFC vs. AFC only the first four weeks of the season, an NFL source said. #Packers will have an NFC North game Week 2 in Green Bay.— Tom Silverstein (@TomSilverstein) May 7, 2020
The NFL schedule release is set for Thursday night at 8 P.M. EST and aside from the whole Coronavirus pandemic looming over the head of the league, things will also be a bit different structure-wise.
According to NFL insider John Clayton, every team will play all four of their inter-conference games to start the season. This means the Bengals will face off against four NFC teams in the first month of the season.
.@JohnClaytonNFL tells @937theFan that the NFL schedule will be NFC vs AFC for the 1st 4 weeks of the season. Steelers play the NFC East. So 1st 4 games would be Cowboys, Eagles, Redskins, and Giants.— Andrew Fillipponi (@ThePoniExpress) May 6, 2020
The Bengals are set to go against the NFC East this year, giving them four consecutive games against the Dallas Cowboys, the New York Giants, the Philadelphia Eagles, and Washington. The order of which teams they face will be unveiled when the schedule is released.
The games against the Cowboys and Giants will be home games in Cincinnati. The games against the Eagles and Washington will be played on the road.
Not only will Andy Dalton be coming home to suit up against the Bengals, it will be one of the first games of Joe Burrow’s career. Dalton will get a good look at his successor while he’s still a wide-eyed rookie. The Bengals are 0-3 in their last three games against Dalton’s new team.
During last year’s preseason, the Bengals played at Washington and got a good luck at first-round pick Dwayne Haskins out of Ohio State. This year, they’ll have to face their newest first-round Buckeye in Chase Young on his field. The Bengals have not hosted Washington since 2008, since their home game in 2016 was in London.
The last time the Bengals played these opponents at these respective locations in the same year was in 2012. They were 3-1 in those games, with a defeat to the Cowboys being their lone loss.