The Cincinnati Bengals have surprisingly made two straight playoff appearances the last two years, and look primed to possibly do it again in 2013. It won’t be easy with a tough schedule inside the AFC North, but with reinforcements in rookies Giovani Bernard and Tyler Eifert, the Cincy offense has the potential to be better than ever.
Ultimately, just how well the Bengals do in 2013 hangs on third-year quarterback Andy Dalton. If he can take the next step, the Bengals could finally win a playoff game for the first time since before Carson Palmer was even under center. If not, the Bengals may want to re-think the quarterback position.
For now, all Bengals fans care about is improving and getting back into the playoffs again. With that in mind, Cincy’s season likely comes down to getting out of their own division alive. Let’s take a look at the Bengal’s 2013 division schedule and compare prices for Cincinnati Bengals tickets for divisional battles on the road and at home:
- (9/16) vs. Pittsburgh Steelers | Avg: $159 | Get-in: $56
Cincy fans already have it great with the Bengals’ average home ticket costing just $139, but this one has to take the cake. Bengals fans get to watch their favorite team take on the Steelers at home, and for just 14% more than the season average. Considering this is the home opener, this is beyond a steal for cat fans.
- (11/17) vs. Cleveland Browns | Avg: $118 | Get-in: $29
Even though the Browns appear slated to take a jump in 2013, clearly they still aren’t regarded as a big ticket event. Still, they have a lot of young talent and could make Cincy’s home showcasing of the “battle of Ohio” pretty entertaining. It helps that this one comes in as a tremendous value, pricing out at 15% less than the Bengals’ average home game.
- (12/29) vs. Baltimore Ravens | Avg: $129 | Get-in: $36
Anytime you face the defending champions, it’s a big deal. How about in the final game of the season, at home, with potential playoff implications? And how about it being 7% cheaper than the average Cincy home contest? This could be a passing of the torch in the AFC North if it goes Cincy’s way.
- (9/29) @ Cleveland Browns | Avg: $114 | Get-in: $21
The second Ohio showdown is actually cheaper than the one in Cincinnati by $4, so regardless of which one you attend, you’re getting excellent value. Andy Dalton and co. may have it a little harder on the road in this one, but after splitting with the Browns a year ago, they’ll be pulling hard for the sweep.
- (11/10) @ Baltimore Ravens | Avg: $225 | Get-in: $88
This is actually round one with the Ravens, and it’s way more expensive, although it carries far less weight than the season finale in Cincy. With that said, it’s still a crucial November for both teams inside the division, and being in the defending champs’ house, it’s expected to be a little pricey.
- (12/15) @ Pittsburgh Steelers | Avg: $243 | Get-in: $76
Cincinnati’s last AFC North road game of the year comes in mid-December against Ben Roethlisberger and the Steelers. Cincy split the season series last year, so just like with Cleveland and Baltimore, they’ll be pushing for the sweep to take that next step within the division.
After splitting all of their divisional games right down the middle a year ago, getting a sweep (or three) is going to prove key to the Bengals hopes for improvement in 2013. If they can do that, they’ll be feeling good as they enter the playoffs for the third season in a row.