Vikings open 2016 Bengals' pre-season schedule

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The Bengals face Marvin Jones in Detroit in the second pre-season game.

Former Bengals defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer makes his first appearance at Paul Brown Stadium since becoming head coach of the Vikings in the opener and the Bengals take another national bow to headline their pre-season schedule that was released Thursday.

One of four NFL teams to make the postseason the previous five straight years, the Bengals' prep for a sixth includes travel to Jacksonville for a nationally televised Aug. 28 game on NBC's Sunday Night Football (8 p.m.-Cincinnati's Channel 5) to play their third of four pre-season games. It's believed they'll wrap up the schedule at PBS against the Colts Thursday night, Sept. 1.

Specific dates and times have yet to be set, but we know Zimmer returns with his NFC North champs to open things the weekend of Aug. 11-15. Zimmer coached the Bengals defense for the six seasons from 2008-2013 with his final three units ranked seventh, sixth and third, respectively, in the NFL.

It's the second time Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis has faced one of his old coaches with Cincinnati as a head coach. The first also came against the Vikings in 2013 at PBS when former Bengals defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier lost his next-to-last game, 42-14. The matchup means Lewis faces all three of his ex-coaches this season with regular-season games against Hue Jackson's Browns and Jay Gruden's defending NFC East champs from Washington.

For the second game the Bengals head to Detroit the weekend of Aug. 18-22 and a date with old friend Marvin Jones, the former Bengals wide receiver who signed last month with the Lions.

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Season tickets are available through the Bengals Ticket Hotline at 866-621-8383 (TDTD) or online through Bengals.com. Dates and times for home games in the regular season have not yet been announced and are expected to be released with the rest of the schedule in two weeks. In addition to AFC North Division rivals Baltimore, Cleveland and Pittsburgh, non-division opponents visiting PBS are defending Super Bowl champion Denver, as well as Buffalo, Miami and Philadelphia.

The Bengals are hosting an Oct. 30 game in London against Washington, but tickets for that game will be handled outside the Season Ticket package. Across the board, fans pay lower Season Ticket prices in 2016 than they did in 2015 because only nine games are in the package and because of the significantly reduced pre-season game prices.

Multi-game ticket packages and single-game tickets are not yet available, and information will be announced at a later date.

It's the seventh time in the last seven years they've been on the national airwaves in August and the first time they've ever played Jacksonville in a pre-season game. * *

The Bengals and Lions played every year in preseason from 1970-2001 and have met occasionally since. Detroit is where A.J. Green and Andy Dalton made their debut in the 2011 pre-season opener, one of 36 pre-season games the Bengals have played against the Lions, the most they've played against any team.

 

Bengals Preseason Schedule: Wk 1 - Minnesota Vikings Wk 2 - @ Detroit Lions Wk 3 - @ Jacksonville Jaguars Wk 4 - Indianapolis Colts

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