Bengals fans won’t have an excuse to avoid holiday gatherings in 2024

San Francisco 49ers v Cincinnati Bengals
San Francisco 49ers v Cincinnati Bengals / Justin Casterline/GettyImages

NFL games provide an excellent excuse to avoid holiday gatherings, as they take place annually on Thanksgiving, and as of more recently, Christmas too. Plus, the league has thrown in a Black Friday game for good measure.

Shopping on Black Friday? Nope, football is on. Christmas with cousins? Not going to happen if the Bengals are on. Don't feel like spending Thanksgiving with the in-laws? "Sorry, my favorite football team is playing, I can't make it."

The 'watching the Bengals' excuse won't fly this year

But, unfortunately for fans in Cincinnati, those excuses aren't going to work this year. The full 2024 NFL schedule was recently released, and the Bengals aren't slated to play on either Thanksgiving or Christmas. This isn't a huge surprise, as the Bengals have only played one game on each Thanksgiving and Christmas in franchise history.

Even though the Bengals aren't playing, there will still be football on to at least serve as a distraction. These are the three games that are scheduled for Thanksgiving day:

  • Chicago Bears at Detroit Lions
  • New York Giants at Dallas Cowboys
  • Miami Dolphins at Green Bay Packers

And these are the two games that will take place on Christmas:

  • Kansas City Chiefs at Pittsburgh Steelers
  • Baltimore Ravens at Houston Texans

Those games, especially the two slated for Christmas Day, could prove to be very intriguing. So again, at least there's something on.

The Bengals also don't have any international games in 2024, which could be a blessing in disguise. They do have five primetime games though, including two Monday night games and two Thursday night games.

Players on the team might be glad that they don't have any games on holidays, so they can spend the days relaxing with family and friends. But for fans in Cincinnati, it might mean that they have to attend those family gatherings this year.