Bengals Will Host London Game in 2016


Nov 1, 2015; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Cincinnati Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis talks to his team against the Pittsburgh Steelers during the second half at Heinz Field. The Bengals won the game 16-10. Mandatory Credit: Jason Bridge-USA TODAY Sports

The Cincinnati Bengals will be taking part in the NFL International Series, hosting a London matchup with the Washington Redskins on October 30, 2016.

The Bengals are going international.

The NFL has selected the Bengals as one of six teams to play in London during the 2016 season, along with the Washington Redskins, Jacksonville Jaguars, Indianapolis Colts, St. Louis Rams and a to-be-determined NFC team. If the team to be determined ends up being a team that hasn’t played in London, 24 NFL teams will have played in London by the end of the 2016 season (75 percent).

Neither the Bengals nor the Redskins have played an international game to date, so this 2016 matchup will mark the first time that either team plays a game in London. This matchup will take place at Wembley Stadium at a time to be determined (although it’s safe to assume that the game will take place around 9AM EST).

The Bengals haven’t played against the Redskins since Week 3 of the 2012 season. Back in 2012, rookie Robert Griffin III was the Redskins’ quarterback, BenJarvus Green-Ellis was Cincinnati’s lead running back and Andy Dalton was only in his second NFL season–a lot of things have changed since then. In the 2012 matchup between these teams, Mohamed Sanu infamously threw his first touchdown pass, a 73-yard strike to A.J. Green.

In 2016, the Bengals will likely face Kirk Cousins at quarterback and former offensive coordinator (now Redskins head coach) Jay Gruden. Alfred Morris could be gone by this time next season, as his replacement, rookie Matt Jones, seems to have earned the coaches’ favor. It’s hard to speculate how the Bengals will look next season, given their laundry list of pending free agents, but it’s safe to say that this matchup will be one worth waking up early for.

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This game (scheduled as a home game) should add just a little more excitement to the Bengals’ 2016 schedule which includes home games against their regular AFC North opponents, the Buffalo Bills, Miami Dolphins and Philadelphia Eagles and away games against the AFC North, the New England Patriots, New York Jets, New York Giants and Dallas Cowboys.

Assuming the Bengals win the AFC North, they will also play this season’s AFC West champion at home and play an away game against this season’s AFC South champion. If Cincinnati finishes second-place in the AFC North, it will play the second-place team from each of the two divisions mentioned above.