The NFL released the 2013 schedule on Thursday, and the Cincinnati Bengals play host to some of the biggest names in the league. With the Patriots, Packers, Colts and Vikings all coming to Paul Brown Stadium, the Bengals have an opportunity to prove their worth against some of the NFL’s biggest names in front of the Who Dey Nation.
The Bengals finished the season 10-6 last year before losing to the Houston Texans in the AFC Wild Card game for the second straight year. In 2013, they’ll be looking to get over the hump and win their first playoff game since 1990.
Maintaining the core of the sixth ranked defense from 2012 was a focus this offseason and the main motive behind re-signing key players like defensive end Michael Johnson (franchise tag), linebacker Rey Maualuga and cornerbacks Adam Jones and Terence Newman.
The Bengals' secondary will certainly be tested in 2013, facing Tom Brady, Andrew Luck, Aaron Rodgers, Jay Cutler and Matthew Stafford outside of the AFC North. Not to mention, they face the Ravens twice with Super Bowl MVP quarterback Joe Flacco.
The schedule is favorable for the Bengals overall as their home opener is a prime-time matchup against the Steelers and three of the last four games are in Cincinnati. Head coach Marvin Lewis had this to say about the schedule release, "It’s exciting to know we’ll open the home schedule against the Steelers on Monday night." (Bengals.com)
Following the release of the 2013 schedule, here’s a look at the Bengals’ easiest to hardest games, in order of increasing difficulty.