Preseason sked

The Bengals 2009 preseason schedule, announced today by the NFL, features a home opener against the St. Louis Rams as well as a road finale against the three-time Super Bowl champion Patriots.

No dates are set, but the Bengals travel to New Orleans for the opener on the weekend of Aug. 13-17, followed by the trip to Foxboro Aug. 20-24. Then the first preseason meeting between the Bengals and Rams in more than 20 years opens Paul Brown Stadium for '09 during Aug. 27-31.

The home game against Indianapolis on Sept. 3 or 4 ends the preseason and marks the 17th time in the last 18 years that Cincinnati has played Indianapolis in the preseason. Cincinnati and Indianapolis, the two closest cities in the AFC by driving distance, end their seventh straight preseasons together.

The Bengals play New Orleans in preseason for the third straight year, but the opener on the road will be Cincinnati's first preseason game at New Orleans since 1989. Cincinnati also makes its first preseason visit to New England since 1990.

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