2020 Cincinnati Bengals Schedule: Full Listing of Dates, Times and TV InfoMay 7, 2020
Cincinnati Bengals fans can now make plans to watch No. 1 overall pick Joe Burrow attempt to turn the franchise back toward relevance.
By any measure, the 2019 season was a disaster for the Bengals. They finished with the NFL's worst record (2-14) and averaged their fewest fans since 1993. A.J. Green wasn't even around to provide occasional moments of excitement because he was sidelined for the entire year.
However, it could be a case of short-term pain for long-term gain if Burrow is as good as advertised. He threw for 5,671 yards and 60 touchdowns en route to winning a Heisman Trophy and national championship.
The fanbase won't be expecting immediate success in 2020, but some level of improvement will be the bar for success.
Here's a look at the Bengals' regular-season schedule, per Bengals.com.
Bengals' 2020 Schedule
According to CBSSports.com's John Breech, the Bengals have the sixth-easiest schedule based on their opponents' 2019 winning percentage.
While neither game should be considered a gimme, Cincinnati should at least like its chances against the Jacksonville Jaguars and Washington Redskins.
The Jaguars are in a complete rebuild after trading away A.J. Bouye, Calais Campbell and Nick Foles, on top of sending Jalen Ramsey to the Los Angeles Rams last season. Handing the offense over to Gardner Minshew II makes sense given the franchise's priorities, but his performance over the second half raises doubts over whether Minshew Mania was more of a mirage rather than a taste of what's to come.
Washington made a big coaching upgrade by hiring Ron Rivera. He'll likely need a season to get the Redskins headed in the right direction, though, based on how Dwayne Haskins looked as a rookie. He was dead last in DYAR (defense-adjusted yards above replacement) among 34 quarterbacks with at least 200 attempts, per Football Outsiders.
Six wins might be the Bengals' ceiling.
The AFC North will be better with Ben Roethlisberger back healthy and the Cleveland Browns strengthening their offense. Cincinnati will also be clear underdogs in at least five of its games (Dallas Cowboys, Tennessee Titans, Philadelphia Eagles, Houston Texans and Indianapolis Colts) outside of the division too.
Given how low the stakes are, calling any of the Bengals' games "pivotal" would be a bit of a stretch. Cincinnati isn't going to win the division, and competing for the wild card will almost certainly be a bridge too far as well.
The team's two dates with the Browns offer the biggest opportunities for schadenfreude and bragging rights. No matter what Cincinnati's overall record proves to be, Bengals fans would revel in watching Burrow outshine Baker Mayfield.
Assuming the Bengals end up in the bottom half of the league, their matchups with the Jaguars, Redskins, Miami Dolphins and New York Giants could have implications on draft positioning in 2021, when Trevor Lawrence is widely viewed as the crown jewel.