Bills fans get to thank Tyler Boyd and Andy Dalton in person when the Bengals travel to Buffalo for the dress rehearsal third pre-season game to be nationally-televised by Fox.
The game also pits old friend AJ McCarron against the Bengals team that drafted and developed him in what will no doubt be his longest stint of the summer as he settles in as the Bills starting quarterback.
Set for Sunday, Aug. 26 (4 p.m.-Cincinnati's Channel 19), the Buffalo trip is the centerpiece of the pre-season schedule released Wednesday by the NFL. The Bengals open at Paul Brown Stadium against the Bears in a rematch of the first game ever at PBS at a date and time to be determined on the second weekend of August.
Then the next weekend the Bengals travel Dallas for another TBA in an intriguing matchup of the two offensive line coaches that worked for the other team last year. After the Buffalo trip for their ninth nationally-televised pre-season game in nine years, the Bengals play the finale on the last weekend in August at PBS against the Colts.
The Bengals and Bills have been joined at the hip ever since the last day of last year when on fourth-and-12 with 49 seconds left Dalton became the acting mayor of Buffalo when he hit Boyd down the seam for a 49-yard TD pass in Baltimore that beat the Ravens and put the Bills in the postseason for the first time in 17 years.
But that was just the beginning. Last month the Bengals swapped first-round picks with the Bills to acquire starting left tackle Cordy Glenn. Then a few days later when the Bills were slow to sign middle linebacker Preston Brown in free agency, the Bengals grabbed the NFL's leading tackler when they signed the Cincinnati native to a one-year deal.
In turn, the Bills' most significant free-agent signing turned out to be McCarron the next week when they inked Dalton's understudy as their starter on a two-year deal. The Bills also signed Bengals center Russell Bodine to replace the retiring Eric Wood, a Cincinnati native. The Bengals meet the Cowboys for the third time in last nine preseasons. Their first pre-season meeting ever was a 16-7 Dallas win in the 2010 Hall of Fame Game at Canton, Ohio. Cowboys offensive line coach Paul Alexander, the Bengals' line coach for the 23 previous season, matches up against his successor, Frank Pollack, the Cowboys' line coach the last three seasons.
New Bears head coach Matt Nagy makes his debut at PBS 18 years after Chicago opened PBS in an Aug. 19, 2000 pre-season game the Bengals won, 24-20. Bears quarterback Cade McNown's pair of 45-yard touchdown passes to wide receiver Marcus Robinson in the stadium's first 9:14 went for naught when Bengals rookie wide receiver Peter Warrick scored his first NFL TD on a 14-yard reverse and quarterback Akili Smith threw TD passes to veteran tight end Tony McGee and rookie wide receiver Ron Dugans.
Season Tickets are on sale now, with pricing on all three levels of PBS remaining flat for the 2018 season. Season Tickets start at $400 and flexible payment plan options are available.
Fans can purchase Season Tickets by calling the Bengals Ticket Hotline at (513) 621-8383, online at Bengals.com or by visiting the PBS ticket office. The Ticket Hotline and ticket office hours are from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Mondays through Fridays. Fans can call the hotline to schedule an appointment to view available seats. Tickets may be purchased 24/7 through Bengals.com. Fans also can chat with a ticket representative online if they have any questions.