Now that the 2020 NFL schedule is out in the open, the Cincinnati Bengals can finally put a devastating 2019 season behind them once and for all. It's time to turn the page to 2020 and the future looks bright for a Bengals franchise that has acquired their best quarterback prospect since Carson Palmer. The Bengals are a team that has undergone some major changes this offseason across the board. Not only did they participate in free agency for the first time in what felt like forever, but they also made a very notable change at quarterback.
After nine years, the Bengals finally decided to dump Andy Dalton, who was replaced by Joe Burrow, the No. 1 overall pick in this year's NFL Draft. The Bengals will actually get to have a reunion with Dalton in December when they take on the Cowboys.
So how does the rest of the schedule break down?
The Pick Six Podcast gang fired up a new episode breaking down every eye-catching aspect of the NFL's schedule release. Give it a listen below, and be sure to subscribe on your favorite podcast platform:
Let's move on and find out. Below we'll take a look at the Bengals' week-by-week schedule, including their home opener along with the prime-time games they were given. We'll also dive into the Bengals strength of schedule, their toughest stretch of games, and more.
Bengals 2020 schedule
- Week 1 (Sunday, Sept. 13): Chargers at Bengals, 4:05 p.m. ET
- Week 2 (Thursday, Sept. 17): Bengals at Browns, 8:20 p.m. ET
- Week 3 (Sunday, Sept. 27): Bengals at Eagles, 1 p.m. ET
- Week 4 (Sunday, Oct. 4): Jaguars at Bengals, 1 p.m. ET
- Week 5 (Sunday, Oct. 11): Bengals at Ravens, 1 p.m. ET
- Week 6 (Sunday, Oct. 18): Bengals at Colts, 1 p.m. ET
- Week 7 (Sunday, Oct. 25): Browns at Bengals, 1 p.m. ET
- Week 8 (Sunday, Nov. 1): Titans at Bengals, 1 p.m. ET
- BYE WEEK (Sunday, Nov. 8): BYE
- Week 10 (Sunday, Nov. 15): Bengals at Steelers, 1 p.m. ET
- Week 11 (Sunday, Nov. 22): Bengals at Redskins, 1 p.m. ET
- Week 12 (Sunday, Nov. 29): Giants at Bengals, 1 p.m. ET
- Week 13 (Sunday, Dec. 6): Bengals at Dolphins, 1 p.m. ET
- Week 14 (Sunday, Dec. 13): Cowboys at Bengals, 1 p.m. ET
- Week 15 (Monday, Dec. 21): Steelers at Bengals, 8:15 p.m. ET
- Week 16 (Sunday, Dec. 27): Bengals at Texans, 1 p.m. ET
- Week 17 (Sunday, Jan. 3): Ravens at Bengals, 1 p.m. ET
The Bengals are actually going to be catching a break in their home opener and that's because their first game at home is actually being played in Week 1 this year. The game against the Chargers will mark just the second time since 2010 that the Bengals have gotten to open the season at home. Of course, the one downside here is that the Bengals haven't won a Week 1 opener since 2007.
The NFL must be big fans of Joe Burrow, because after limiting the Bengals to just one prime-time game in 2019, the league has doubled their total for 2020. Assuming they don't get flexed into a Sunday night game, Burrow and the Bengals will get to play a total of two games under the lights this season and both of those will come against division rivals. The first game will come in Week 2 in Cleveland while the second one will come in Week 15 in a Monday night home game against the Steelers.
Strength of schedule
If Joe Burrow ends up living up to the hype that comes with being the first overall pick, the Bengals could be a surprise team this season and that's because they have the sixth-easiest schedule in the NFL based on this year's strength of schedule rankings. The rankings were put together using each opponents' 2019 record. For a complete look at every team's strength of schedule,.
We also put together a strength of schedule using the over/under win totals for each team's opponents, and using that metric, the Bengals go from facing the sixth-easiest schedule to facing a slate that's ranked among the 10 most difficult. For a complete look at every team's strength of schedule.
The Bengals are a young team that probably could have benefited from a few easy games to start the season, but that's definitely not going to happen, and that's because the Bengals will be facing brutal stretch after their opener against the Chargers. From Weeks 2-6, the Bengals will play four of five games on the road with those games coming against the Browns, Eagles, Jaguars, Ravens and Colts. The only home game in that stretch is against Jacksonville, which coincidentally, feels like the most winnable game during that span.
The Bengals also got hit with a nightmare stretch to close the season. Over the final four weeks of the year, Cincinnati will have to face the Cowboys, Steelers, Texans and Ravens. That's two teams that made the playoffs in 2019 and four teams that finished .500 or better. Basically, if the Bengals are going to make a miraculous playoff run, they're going to have to beat some good teams to do it.