The Bengals’ 2014 preseason schedule, released today by the NFL, features a nationally televised game at Arizona, home dates against the New York Jets and Indianapolis Colts, and the team’s first preseason meeting against Kansas City since the Super Bowl season of 1988.
As the Bengals prepare their bid for a fourth straight trip to the playoffs, the lineup of preseason foes will include teams who compiled an aggregate 40-24 record (.625 winning percentage) in the 2013 regular season. The Colts and Chiefs were both 11-5 and joined the Bengals in the playoffs. Arizona missed the playoffs but finished 10-6, and the Jets were 8-8.
For the 2014 regular season, it’s known that in addition to home games against AFC North Division rivals Baltimore, Cleveland and Pittsburgh, the Bengals will play at home against Atlanta, Carolina, Denver, Jacksonville and Tennessee. Dates and kickoff times for regular season games will be announced later this month.
Season tickets are available now through the Bengals Ticket Hotline at 866-621-8383 (TDTD) or online through Bengals.com.
The only preseason game whose exact date and kickoff time is presently known is game three, on Sun., Aug. 24 at Arizona. The 8 p.m. (ET) game will be televised by NBC as part of the network’s Sunday Night Football package. Dates and kickoff times for the other three games are to be announced later this month, and those games will be on the Bengals Preseason TV Network, with Cincinnati’s WKRC-TV (Channel 12) as the flagship.
The first preseason home game will be during the weekend of Aug. 14-18, against the Jets. The Bengals opened the preseason in 2012 at home against the Jets, winning 17-6. The Jets lead 5-4 in the preseason series.
Cincinnati will open preseason away from Paul Brown Stadium for the seventh time in the last eight years, playing at Kansas City during the weekend of Aug. 7-11. The Bengals and Chiefs have played seven times in preseason, but not since 1988. The Bengals’ inaugural preseason game, in 1968, was a 38-14 loss to the Chiefs at the University of Cincinnati’s Nippert Stadium.
The Arizona game in week three figures to be Cincinnati’s second meeting against QB Carson Palmer, who was the Bengals’ starter from 2004-11. Palmer was traded to Oakland in 2011 and joined Arizona last season. The Bengals defeated Palmer and the Raiders at PBS in the ’12 regular season. The Bengals have played Arizona only once in preseason, at Arizona in 1996, but they played three preseason games against the St. Louis Cardinals before the franchise’s move west in 1988.
In preseason week four, at Paul Brown Stadium, the Bengals will keep alive their regional rivalry with Indianapolis. The game will be the 22nd preseason meeting between the two teams in the last 23 years, and the 23rd meeting overall. The Bengals lead the series 14-8. Cincinnati vs. Indianapolis is the closest geographical rivalry among cities in the AFC, with a driving distance of 110 miles. The Bengals will play at Indianapolis during the 2014 regular season.
Pending the announcement of the remaining dates and kickoff times, the 2014 Bengals preseason lines up as follows:
--Week 1: at Kansas City, weekend of Aug. 7-11
--Week 2: N.Y. JETS at Paul Brown Stadium, weekend of Aug. 14-18
--Week 3: at Arizona, Sun., Aug. 24 at 8 p.m. ET (NBC)
--Week 4: INDIANAPOLIS at Paul Brown Stadium, Aug. 28 or 29