The Cincinnati Bengals will play their season opener on the road for the sixth year in a row and will appear in four primetime games during the final 10 weeks of the season, including back-to-back night starts at home in November and back-to-back road ones in December.
Also among the notable contests on the 2015 schedule, which was released Tuesday evening, are December home games against division rivals Pittsburgh and Baltimore.
“I say every year that we already have known all our home and road opponents for the year, but the four national games do stick out,” Bengals coach Marvin Lewis said. “It’s a compliment to our franchise, a challenge for the team, and exciting for our fans to have the two home night games in November. The other thing you look at as a coach is closing the season against Baltimore, when you expect there could be a lot at stake.”
Here is a game-by-game look at the how the 2015 season will unfold as the Bengals search for a fifth consecutive playoff berth:
Sunday, Sept. 13, at Oakland, 4:25 p.m.
In addition to starting on the road for the sixth year in a row, the Bengals are doing so in a city where they are 0-11 all time.
Sunday, Sept. 20, vs. San Diego, 1 p.m.
The Chargers make their first visit to Paul Brown Stadium since ending the Bengals’ 2013 season with a 27-10 wild-card win.
Sunday, Sept. 27, at Baltimore, 1 p.m.
This will be the fourth time in five years the Ravens have been the first divisional opponent the Bengals have faced.
Sunday, Oct. 4, vs. Kansas City, 1 p.m.
Marvin Lewis is 5-2 against the Chiefs, who haven’t won in Cincinnati since 1984.
Sunday, Oct. 11, vs Seattle, 1 p.m.
This will be just the second visit to Cincinnati since 1993 for a Seattle franchise that has won back-to-back NFC Championships.
Sunday, Oct. 18, at Buffalo, 1 p.m.
There are worse times to visit Buffalo than mid-October. In fact, the last time the Bengals went to Buffalo in October, in 2013, they snapped a six-game losing streak there.
Sunday, Oct. 25, BYE
A Goldilocks bye week. Not too early. Not too late. Just right.
Sunday, Nov. 1, at Pittsburgh, 1 p.m.
This will be the first time since 1998 the Bengals have faced the Steelers following a bye week.
Thursday, Nov. 5, vs. Cleveland, 8:25 p.m.
For the second year in a row the Battle of Ohio will be staged on a Thursday night NFL Network broadcast.
Monday, Nov. 16, vs. Houston, 8:30 p.m.
J.J. Watt and the Texans will be the opponent when the Bengals play back-to-back primetime games for the second time in franchise history (at Cleveland and at Atlanta in Weeks 7 and 8 in 1990).
Sunday, Nov. 22, at Arizona, 4:05 p.m.
Giovani Bernard’s 24th birthday might be a little overshadowed by tbe meeting with a certain former quarterback the Bengals drafted No. 1 overall in 2003.
Sunday, Nov. 29, vs. St. Louis, 1 p.m.
Something Cincinnati fans can be thankful for on this holiday weekend is a game against a Rams team that is on a run of futility that rivals the Bengals of the 1990s with 11 consecutive non-winning seasons.
Sunday, Dec. 6, at Cleveland, 1 p.m.
The last three shutouts recorded by the Bengals have come in late-season games in Cleveland.
Sunday, Dec. 13, vs. Pittsburgh, 1 p.m.
The Bengals have lost six of the last seven times they have played against the Steelers in December, including two last year.
Sunday, Dec. 20, at San Francisco, 8:30 p.m.
The Bengals are 1-5 all time in San Francisco, with the lone win coming in their first visit in 1974. Coupled with the 0-11 mark at Oakland, that makes the Bengals 1-16 in the Bay Area.
Monday, Dec. 28, at Denver, 8:30 p.m.
It’s the second consecutive year the Bengals will play Peyton Manning and the Broncos in a Week 16 Monday night game.
Sunday, Jan. 3, vs. Baltimore, 1 p.m.
This will be the fifth time in six years the Bengals have faced the Ravens in the regular-season finale.