Cincinnati, OHIO (WDTN ) – Cincinnati kicks off its regular season at home against the Minnesota Vikings on Sept. 12 (1 p.m. start), in what will be Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer’s first regular-season game at Paul Brown Stadium since his time as Bengals defensive coordinator (2008-13). The Bengals then hit the road for games against Chicago (Sept. 19) and division-rival Pittsburgh (Sept. 26), before returning home for a nationally televised matchup with Jacksonville on Thursday Night Football (8:20 p.m., NFL Network). That game will feature the NFL’s last two No. 1 overall draft picks — Bengals QB Joe Burrow and Jaguars QB Trevor Lawrence.
Cincinnati’s home slate includes games against each of the last three NFL MVPs, with the first of those matchups coming on Oct. 10 against QB Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers. The other two — Baltimore’s Lamar Jackson and Kansas City’s Patrick Mahomes — will visit later in the season, on Dec. 26 and Jan. 2 respectively.
The Bengals finish out the first half of their schedule with three consecutive road games against Detroit (Oct. 17), Baltimore (Oct. 24) and the N.Y. Jets (Oct. 31), before returning home to take on the division rival Cleveland Browns (Nov. 7). That stretch, in addition to the Jacksonville contest, showcases five of the last six No. 1 overall draft picks — Burrow (2020), Lawrence (’21), Browns QB Baker Mayfield (’18), Browns DE Myles Garrett (’17) and Lions QB Jared Goff (’16).
After a Week 10 bye, Cincinnati is scheduled to play five of its remaining eight games at home. The second half of the season kicks off with a Nov. 21 road matchup against the Raiders, in what will be the franchise’s first-ever trip to Las Vegas. That will be followed by five home contests in six weeks — Pittsburgh (Nov. 28), the L.A. Chargers (Dec. 5), San Francisco (Dec. 12), Baltimore (Dec. 26) and Kansas City (Jan. 2). The lone road matchup in that stretch comes on Dec. 19 at Denver. The regular season will wrap up on Jan. 9 with a trip to Cleveland.
The Bengals’ Week 4 nationally televised game on Sept. 30 vs. Jacksonville on NFL Network will be simulcast in Cincinnati by a local non-cable station, yet to be determined. All Bengals games from Week 5-18 are subject to possible flexible scheduling with Sunday Night Football.
Also announced tonight was the Bengals’ preseason lineup, although specific dates and times for two of the three matchups are not yet set. Cincinnati will kick off preseason on the road against defending Super Bowl champion Tampa Bay, before hitting the road again the following week to take on Washington. The Bengals then return home for a nationally televised preseason finale against the Miami Dolphins on Aug. 29 (4 p.m., CBS).
NFL Network’s coverage of the 2021 NFL schedule begins tonight at 8 p.m. with a three-hour show breaking down the upcoming schedule, division by division, analyzing the top matchups and primetime games.
CINCINNATI BENGALS 2021 SCHEDULE
(All times are Eastern. Home games are in CAPS. An asterisk (*) denotes a game subject to possible flexible scheduling.)
PRESEASON (day, date, opponent, time, TV network)
(day and date TBD), at Tampa Bay, (time TBD), Bengals Preseason TV Network
(day and date TBD), at Washington, (time TBD), Bengals Preseason TV Network
Sun., Aug. 29, MIAMI, 4 p.m., CBS
REGULAR SEASON (day, date, opponent, time, TV network)
Sun., Sept. 12, MINNESOTA, 1 p.m., FOX
Sun., Sept. 19, at Chicago, 1 p.m., FOX
Sun., Sept. 26, at Pittsburgh, 1 p.m., CBS
Thurs., Sept. 30, JACKSONVILLE, 8:20 p.m., NFL Network
Sun., Oct. 10, GREEN BAY, *1 p.m., FOX
Sun., Oct. 17, at Detroit, *1 p.m., FOX
Sun., Oct. 24, at Baltimore, *1 p.m., CBS
Sun., Oct. 31, at N.Y. Jets, *1 p.m., CBS
Sun., Nov. 7, CLEVELAND, *1 p.m., CBS
Sun., Nov. 14, — BYE —
Sun., Nov. 21, at Las Vegas, *4:05 p.m., CBS
Sun., Nov. 28, PITTSBURGH, *1 p.m., CBS
Sun., Dec. 5, L.A. CHARGERS, *1 p.m., FOX
Sun., Dec. 12, SAN FRANCISCO, *1 p.m., CBS
Sun., Dec. 19, at Denver, *4:05 p.m., CBS
Sun., Dec. 26, BALTIMORE, *1 p.m., CBS
Sun., Jan. 2, KANSAS CITY, *1 p.m., CBS
Sun., Jan. 9, at Cleveland, *1 p.m., CBS