While the Cincinnati Bengals‘ 2021 schedule is certainly one of the toughest in the league, the early portion of the schedule is manageable for this team. Here are the four teams they play to open up the season:
- Sept. 12 – Vikings
- Sept. 19 – at Bears
- Sept. 26 – at Steelers
- Sept. 30 – Jaguars
The Bengals are fortunate to open the 2021 season at Paul Brown Stadium where they’ll welcome in the Vikings, a team that got off to a sluggish start last year and finished the year at 7-9. This being a home game tips the scale in Cincinnati’s favor, as fans will be back in full force to cheer on the Bengals.
Week 2 brings a road trip to the Windy City where former Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton might get to face his old team. He might start the season as Chicago’s starter and unless he’s atrocious in Week 1, should be the starter when this game takes place. The Bears have a good defense but if last year is a testament as to what their offense could look like, then the Bengals have a good chance at winning this game.
Week 3 is the Bengals’ first divisional game of the season and it just so happens to come against the only divisional team they were able to get a win off of last year. The Steelers are one of the few teams in the NFL who manage to stay above water no matter what the circumstances are and that’s why it’s hard to really bank on that they’ll struggle this year.
Ben Roethlisberger isn’t what he once was but Mike Tomlin is still one of the best head coaches in the league and that can’t be taken for granted. That being said, Joe Burrow is going to hopefully take a huge leap this year and Big Ben is aging. This should lead to the Bengals giving Pittsburgh a run for their money in Week 3 and they might be able to pull this one off.
Finally, Week 4 is the Bengals’ lone primetime game of the year and it’ll take place in Cincinnati against the Jaguars, who won one game last year. The last two No. 1 overall draft choices will go head to head and while Trevor Lawrence will be good for an extra few wins in Jacksonville, the Bengals are the better all-around team. This should be one of the Bengals’ “easier” games.
Yes, the Bengals’ schedule is incredibly difficult, bu their first four games are winnable. They have a chance to get off to a commanding start in the 2021 season.