Dec 22, 2014; Cincinnati, OH, USA; A Cincinnati Bengals fan shows support in the stands against the Denver Broncos at Paul Brown Stadium. The Bengals won 37-28. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports
The Bengals track record in the regular season under Andy Dalton has been respectable. The only exception is in prime time where the Bengals at 3-7 under Dalton. The Bengals schedule came out last night and we found out that they will look to overcome four prime time games this season against the Browns, Texans, 49ers, and Broncos.
I stated yesterday as their Thursday night matchup against the Browns leaked, they will get another shot to beat the Browns in prime time, and if I were predicting the games now, I would give the Bengals a very good shot at winning if Johnny Manziel is their quarterback. Just like last season, they will have the home field advantage against the Browns and then against the Texans on Monday Night Football the following week.
The Bengals will then need to find a way to beat two other playoff-caliber teams on the road. They will travel to San Francisco to take on the 49ers on Sunday Night Football, and although they are down a head coach, as Jim Harbaugh now resides at Michigan University, a running back, Frank Gore, to the Colts, and a linebacker, Patrick Willis, to retirement, this is still a difficult matchup and very good team led by Colin Kaepernick. The Bengals did manage to beat the Broncos at Paul Brown Stadium last season in a prime time game, but this season they will face the Broncos in Denver; a place where the Broncos always find a way to step up.
The Bengals will need to show a much different version of themselves in prime time this season as they take on the second toughest schedule in the NFL, behind AFC North rival the Pittsburgh Steelers. They can’t waste any opportunities to steal a game, like they did against the Browns last season. They will benefit from a Week Seven bye, which should be much better than the early Week Four bye they ran into last season. If they can even split the prime time games, most fans would see this as a step in the right direction as the Bengals “Drive for Five” (consecutive playoff appearances) campaign begins in September.