Cincinnati Bengals first year head coach Zac Taylor learned Wednesday the direction of his first season at the helm of the Bengals as the National Football League released schedules for the 2019 season. Taking over a team that finished 6-10 last season, Taylor and his staff will learn quickly what type of team they have.
Last season, teams on the Bengals 2019 schedule went 205-121 during the regular season with both Super Bowl teams also on tap.
Here is a look at each week.
SEPT. 8 @ SEATTLE: There will be no Russell Wilson drama with the Seahawks quarterback signing a new deal. Last season saw the Seahawks finish with a 10-6 regular season mark. Strange things have happened over the years when the Bengals have gone out West. Can Zac Taylor get his first win on the road?
SEPT. 15 SAN FRANCISCO: All eyes will be on how 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo is doing after coming off his torn ACL. Last season the 49ers finished 4-12 and in a rare start they’ll be on the road back-to-back weeks to open the season starting with Tampa Bay before heading to Cincinnati.
SEPT. 22 @ BUFFALO: It will be a home coming for three current Bengals as offensive linemen Cordy Glenn and John Miller along with linebacker Preston Brown return to take on their former team. That is if all three make the roster out of camp. Last season the Bills finished with a 6-10 mark. The two teams played last year in the pre season and during the 2017 regular season where the Bengals won 20-16 at home.
SEPT. 30 @ PITTSBURGH: The ‘Killer B’s’ are officially over with only Ben Roethlisberger remaining. While the Bengals will see the other two ‘B’s’ during the season with their new teams. Will changes mean the end of the Steelers success after going 9-6 last season? Last season the Bengals loss twice but only by a total of 10 points.
OCT. 6 ARIZONA: It’s been awhile since the Cardinals have been in Cincinnati and it will be interesting to watch in the coming weeks if their quarterback will be Josh Rosen or Kyler Murray. Last season saw the Cardinals finish 3-13 giving them the chance to take Murray with the first pick in the upcoming draft.
OCT. 13 @ BALTIMORE: The two teams spilt last season with the Ravens finishing 10-6 and winning the AFC North. Lamar Jackson is slated to run the Ravens offense after pushing out Joe Flacco.
OCT. 20 JACKSONVILLE: Blake Bortles is gone and replaced with Super Bowl LII MVP Nick Foles. With a new four-year $88 million contract in hand, Foles will feel new pressure after leaving the comforts of the Philadelphia Eagles. The Jaguars have made several roster moves after going 5-11 last season.
OCT. 27 @RAMS (LONDON): Taylor gets a chance to show what he learned the past two seasons having stood beside Rams head coach Sean McVay. Last season the Rams were the big story going 13-3 and making the Super Bowl on a bad call against the Saints. Now the two will match-up in Wembley Stadium. A win would have the Bengals heading into their bye week feeling good about themselves no matter what their overall record might be.
NOV. 3 BYE WEEK: If the schedule wasn’t enough for a bye week, coming off the trip to London and playing the Rams would mean the bye week came just at the right time. How do you feel the Bengals will have done up to this point?
NOV. 10 BALTIMORE: The second time these two match-up will be the real test for the Bengals and how fans should expect the Zac Taylor era to go. Coming off a bye and then hosting the Ravens in a must win game.
NOV. 17 @ OAKLAND: Jon Gruden did not prove to be what the Raiders needed as they finished 4-12 last season. Does former Bengals linebacker Vontaze Burfict come back and hurt his former team in this game? That could be one of several story lines in this game. Again, Bengals on the West Coast you just never know what might happen.
NOV. 24 PITTSBURGH: Just like the Ravens, the second time around against the Steelers should answer a lot of questions about this team, coaching staff and if managment made the right call in hiring Taylor. Bengals fans want a home win against this team.
DEC. 1 NEW YORK JETS: Second year quarterback San Darnold will have some new weapons including running back Le’Von Bell. New head coach Adam Gase takes over a team that finished 4-12 last season and Jets fans expect instant improvement. The Bengals will need to show they have improved more with a win.
DEC. 8 @ CLEVELAND: These two teams will play twice in a four week period. Last season saw the Bengals lose twice to the Browns in a season where the Browns fired their head coach in mid season. This should not happened to any Bengals team. The Browns and Baker Mayfield are now the talk of Ohio with them adding wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr.. Will Bengals fans put up with another double loss season against the Browns? Here is the first chance to make sure it doesn’t happen.
DEC. 15 NEW ENGLAND: Not much to say here as the defending Super Bowl Champions and the “Goat” Tom Brady come to Paul Brown Stadium. Depending upon how the season has gone this could be a lot like last seasons home game against the Saints when there were many Black & Gold fans sitting in the stands and not Orange & Black.
DEC. 22 MIAMI: After going 7-9 last season, Miami made a coaching change hiring Brian Flores after a long stint with the New England Patriots starting as a scouting assistant in 2004 and working his way up. Trading quarterback Ryan Tannehill to the Tennessee Titans and signing Ryan Fitzpatrick should have the Dolphins looking to draft a quarterback in the upcoming draft. Who knows who will be under center when this game is played.
DEC. 29 CLEVELAND: We already talked about how important the two games against the Browns will be in 2019. The final Sunday of 2019 will give Bengals fans a chance to give the new coaching staff and team a final report card if things are moving in the right direction. Who knows, maybe this game places the Bengals in the playoffs.
How do you see the Bengals doing in 2019?