The Bengals will open the 2012 preseason against the New York Jets at Paul Brown Stadium.
The Bengals 2012 preseason schedule, released today by the NFL, features a nationally televised game at Atlanta, home dates against two high-profile opponents (N.Y. Jets and Green Bay) and a finale against an Indianapolis club likely to field the league's No. 1 overall draft pick.
"We're excited with the lineup we have and we think our fans will enjoy it," said Bengals executive vice-president Katie Blackburn. "It should help generate high interest for our young team that reached the playoffs last season. Our home games are a nice complement to what we feel is a very attractive list of regular season home opponents."
Though the regular season schedule is yet to be announced, it is known that in addition to home games against division rivals Baltimore, Cleveland and Pittsburgh, the Bengals will have visits from Dallas, Denver, the N.Y. Giants, Miami and Oakland. Season tickets are now available online and through the Bengals Ticket Hotline at 866-621-8383 (TDTD). Announcements on the availability of ticket packs and/or single-game sales will be made at a later date.
Cincinnati will open preseason with a home game for the first time since 2006, taking on the New York Jets, who reached the 2009 and 2010 AFC Championship games. The game is likely to feature the Jets debut of one of the NFL's most-followed young players, QB Tim Tebow. The date and kickoff time are to be announced, but the game will be played between Aug. 9 and 13, on the first preseason weekend.
Dates and kickoff times are presently set only for national TV games, and the Cincinnati at Atlanta contest, a FOX network broadcast, will be on Thurs., Aug. 16 at 8 p.m. The Falcons have had a winning record for four straight seasons and have made the playoffs in three of those, including last season with a 10-6 record.
In Week 3, the Bengals return to Paul Brown Stadium to face Green Bay. The Packers had the NFL's best regular season record (15-1) in 2011, and QB Aaron Rodgers was named the league's Most Valuable Player.
In Week 4, the Bengals will keep alive their regional rivalry with Indianapolis, at Lucas Oil Stadium. The game will be the 20th preseason meeting between the two teams in the last 21 years. The Colts currently hold the No. 1 overall selection in this month's 2012 draft.
The Jets, Packers and Colts games will be televised on the Bengals Preseason TV Network, including Cincinnati's Local12 (WKRC-TV). All four games will be on the Bengals Radio Network, led by Cincinnati flagships WCKY-AM (ESPN 1530) and WEBN-FM (102.7).
Pending the announcement of further dates and kickoff times, the 2012 Bengals preseason lines up as follows:
» Week 1: N.Y. JETS at Paul Brown Stadium, weekend of Aug. 9-13
» Thu., Aug. 16: at Atlanta, 8 p.m. (FOX)
» Week 3: GREEN BAY at Paul Brown Stadium, weekend of Aug. 23-27
» Week 4: at Indianapolis, Aug. 30 or 31