Ranking the 4 most important games of the Bengals 2024 schedule

Cincinnati has to take care of business in these contests.
Cincinnati Bengals v Pittsburgh Steelers
Cincinnati Bengals v Pittsburgh Steelers / Justin K. Aller/GettyImages
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Let's face it. Every single game during the NFL regular season is important. Teams play only 17 games every season, and the outcome of a single contest could mean the difference between making the playoffs or not. But, while all games count the same in the standings, some feel more important than others, due to standings, rivalries or other factors.

With that in mind, here's a look at Cincinnati's four most important games during the 2024 NFL season.

4. Week 2 at Kansas City Chiefs

An extremely early game against the defending-champion Kansas City Chiefs will provide an excellent measuring stick game for the Bengals, who will likely have to ultimately go through the Chiefs if they want to make it back to the Super Bowl.

Obviously how the teams look in Week 2 won't be the same as how they look come the end of the season, but it's a good test nonetheless. Plus, the game could be a great confidence-builder for Cincinnati. If the Bengals are able to topple the defending champs and a huge rival early in the season, it could give them some additional swag and confidence to carry throughout the season.

3. Week 16 vs. Cleveland Browns

If last season was any indication, the battle for positioning in the AFC North is going to be extremely tight, which means that every single divisional game will be of extreme import for the Bengals (and that's why they dominate this particular list).

Last season, all four teams in the division finished with a winning record, including the Browns, who finished 11-6 despite having starting quarterback Deshaun Watson for just six games. Watson is expected to play much more in 2024, and the Browns should be better as a result.

The Bengals play the Browns earlier in the season too, but the matchup in Week 16, which is scheduled for Thursday night, could have some major playoff implications, and therefore could prove to be a very important game for Cincinnati.