Coming off a bounce-back campaign, the young Cincinnati Bengals are looking to make the playoffs for a second season in a row.
After drafting quarterback Andy Dalton and wide receiver A.J. Green last year, the Bengals have two first-round picks in 2012 to sweeten the deal.
Here's a look at their 2012 schedule, per NFL.com, complete with analysis.
Cincinnati's 2012 Regular-Season Schedule
Week 2, Sept. 16: Cleveland Browns vs. Cincinnati Bengals, 1 p.m. ET, CBS
Week 3, Sept. 23: Cincinnati Bengals vs. Washington Redskins, 1 p.m. ET, FOX
Week 4, Sept. 30: Cincinnati Bengals vs. Jacksonville Jaguars, 4:05 p.m. ET, CBS
Week 5, Oct. 7: Miami Dolphins vs. Cincinnati Bengals, 1 p.m. ET, CBS
Week 6, Oct. 14: Cincinnati Bengals vs. Cleveland Browns, 1 p.m. ET, CBS
Week 7, Oct. 21: Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Cincinnati Bengals, 8:20 p.m. ET, NBC
Week 8, Oct. 28: BYE
Week 9, Nov. 4: Denver Broncos vs. Cincinnati Bengals, 1 p.m. ET, CBS
Week 10, Nov. 11: New York Giants vs. Cincinnati Bengals, 1 p.m. ET, CBS
Week 11, Nov. 18: Cincinnati Bengals vs. Kansas City Chiefs, 1 p.m. ET, CBS
Week 12, Nov. 25: Oakland Raiders vs. Cincinnati Bengals, 1 p.m. ET, CBS
Week 13, Dec. 2: Cincinnati Bengals vs. San Diego Chargers, 4:15 p.m. ET, CBS
Week 14, Dec. 9: Dallas Cowboys vs. Cincinnati Bengals, 1 p.m. ET, FOX
Week 15, Dec. 13: Cincinnati Bengals vs. Philadelphia Eagles, 8:20 p.m. ET, NFL Network
Week 16, Dec. 23: Cincinnati Bengals vs. Pittsburgh Steelers, 1 p.m. ET CBS
Week 17, Dec. 30: Baltimore Ravens vs. Cincinnati Bengals, 1 p.m. ET, CBS
The Bengals rank among the middle of the pack in strength of schedule this year. Their opponents' combined winning percentage was an even .500 last season.
Their most difficult opponents this year will likely be the defending champion New York Giants, Baltimore Ravens, Pittsburgh Steelers, Philadelphia Eagles, Dallas Cowboys and Denver Broncos, complete with Peyton Manning.
Most Pivotal Matchup
The Baltimore Ravens and Pittsburgh Steelers will once again be among the Bengals' toughest opponents this season. It doesn't help that they all reside in the same division, either.
Cincinnati plays a home game and an away game against both the Ravens and the Steelers. Last season, the Bengals went 0-2 against both teams. They obviously can make the playoffs without beating either the Ravens or the Steelers, but stealing a game or two would go a long way.
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