Predicting every primetime game for Bengals this season
The game that kicked off this magical run for the Bengals was in Week 1 of 2021 against the Vikings. Cincinnati took the lead until the Vikings fought their way back and forced overtime. We got to see Evan McPherson's heroics for the first time as he kicked the game-winner in overtime to begin what's been an incredible ride for this franchise.
With the Bengals and Vikings playing each other again this year due to the 17th game that was added in 2021, I wouldn't be shocked at all if this game was a Monday night showdown. Those Monday night games are when we tend to see more AFC vs NFC matchups so this feels like a good fit for ESPN's weekly game.
The Bengals and Jaguars are similar teams. Yes, they both have cat mascots but outside of that, they took quarterbacks with the No. 1 pick in back-to-back drafts (Joe Burrow in 2020 and Trevor Lawrence in 2021), had a rough rookie year with those quarterbacks, and then turned things around the next year.
While the Jags didn't make it to the Super Bowl in Lawrence's second season like the Bengals did in Burrow's second year, they won their division and beat the Chargers in a playoff game. Both teams fell to the Chiefs in the postseason.
This is why it makes all the sense in the world to put these two teams against each other in primetime. In 2021, they squared off on Thursday Night Football (and Urban Meyer's NFL coaching career began to spiral after this game) and then didn't have to play each other in 2022 due to finishing in different spots in their division.
Some other games that could be included in primetime would be against the Browns, Rams, Steelers, and 49ers. Divisional games can never be ruled out, the Rams would be a rematch of Super Bowl LVI but they're not supposed to be very good this year, and the Niners are one of the best teams in the league (plus there's all of the Super Bowl history between these two).
Which games do you think will be in primetime?