Chick Ludwig
Chick Ludwig

For the past 30 years, Chick Ludwig has been one of the Miami Valley’s most popular sports columnists, the past twelve as the Bengals beat writer for the Dayton Daily News. He retired from the DDN in October of 2009, and currently writes a weekly Bengals blog for the Cincinnati Enquirer and is the Bengals correspondent for the The Sporting News. A former voting member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame selection committee, Ludwig is a journalism graduate of Ohio State University.

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For the third straight year, the Bengals have been awarded three national prime-time games, and for the third time in franchise history, two prime-time contests will be at home.

CINCINNATI — The Cincinnati Bengals already knew whom they would face in 2014. They also knew where they would play this season.

On Wednesday night, April 23, the Bengals discovered the all-important and much anticipated “when” they would meet their peers, rivals and enemies.

The National Football League finally released the regular-season schedules of all 32 teams — a week later than last year because the 2014 NFL Draft has been pushed back to May 8-10 at Radio City Music Hall in New York City.

The Bengals — coming off three straight playoff seasons, an unprecedented run in franchise history — open and close their 47th season on the road … at Baltimore on Sept. 7 and at Pittsburgh on Dec. 28.

In between, for the third straight year, the Bengals have been awarded three national prime-time games, and for the third time in franchise history, two prime-time contests will be at home.

The Bengals will host the Cleveland Browns in an NFL Network game on Thursday, Nov. 6, and Denver will visit Paul Brown Stadium in an ESPN game on Monday, Dec. 22. The other prime-time, regular-season game will be an NBC Sunday Night Football appearance at New England on Oct. 5.

The Bengals open the regular season on the road for the fifth straight year, visiting Baltimore at 1 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 7. It will be the third time since 2007 that Cincinnati has opened against the AFC North Division rival Ravens.

Cincinnati’s home opener will be Sunday, Sept. 14, at 1 p.m. against Atlanta. It marks only the second time in the last nine seasons that the Bengals play their home opener against an NFC opponent.

“It’s a challenging start for us, opening at Baltimore, and on the back end we’ve got Pittsburgh twice in the last four games,” head coach Marvin Lewis said. “That’s unusual and could lend a lot of excitement. And, of course, we’re excited to get two prime-time games in Paul Brown Stadium. Our fans deserve that, and our team can feed off that enthusiasm.”

PPM’s Chick Ludwig can be heard from 3 to 6 pm daily on 980 WONE.

The other seasons in which the Bengals had two prime-time regular-season games at home were 2004 and 2007. This season’s two prime-time home games are fixed — not subject to flexible scheduling.

Including preseason, the Bengals are scheduled to play four prime-time games in 2014. The club visits Arizona on Aug. 24 in an NBC preseason game. The only time the Bengals have had more than four prime-time games including preseason was in ’07, when there were five — one in preseason and four in the regular season.

Four is the club record for prime-time games in a regular season (home and away), set in 1990 and 2007.

TV broadcasts of the Bengals’ two games on cable — the regular-season home games vs. Cleveland and Denver — will also be simulcast in Cincinnati by a local non-cable station, to be determined, if the games are sellouts.

The Bengals’ home schedule also features games against non-division opponents Tennessee (Sept. 21), Carolina (Oct. 12) and Jacksonville (Nov. 2).

During Weeks 5-10 of the regular season, the NFL may choose to flex two games from Sunday afternoon to Sunday night.

During Weeks 11-17, all Sunday games are subject to possible flex among the three standard kickoff times — early afternoon, late afternoon and night.

BENGALS SEASON TICKETS ON SALE

Bengals season tickets are on sale at this time, with seat locations priced as low as $40 per game. Call the Bengals Ticket Hotline at 513-621-TDTD (8383) or go online to Bengals.com for more information.

Season ticket customers benefit from discounted prices, preferred seating locations, playoff priority and special events available exclusively to Bengals Season Ticket Members.

Information regarding the availability of mini-packs and single-game tickets will be released at a future date.

CINCINNATI BENGALS 2014 SCHEDULE
All times Eastern.
Asterisk (*) denotes game subject to flexible scheduling.

PRESEASON (day, date, opponent, time)
Thurs., Aug. 7: at Kansas City, 8 p.m.
Sat., Aug. 16: N.Y. JETS, 7 p.m.
Sun., Aug. 24: at Arizona, 8 p.m. (NBC)
Thurs., Aug. 28: INDIANAPOLIS, 7 p.m.
 
REGULAR SEASON (day, date, opponent, time)
Sun., Sept. 7: at Baltimore, 1 p.m.
Sun., Sept. 14: ATLANTA, 1 p.m.
Sun., Sept. 21: TENNESSEE, 1 p.m.
Sun., Sept. 28: BYE WEEK

Sun., Oct. 5: at New England, 8:30 p.m. (NBC)*
Sun., Oct. 12: CAROLINA, 1 p.m.*
Sun., Oct. 19: at Indianapolis, 1 p.m.*
Sun., Oct. 26: BALTIMORE, 1 p.m.*
Sun., Nov. 2: JACKSONVILLE, 1 p.m.*
Thurs., Nov. 6: CLEVELAND, 8:25 p.m. (NFL Network)
Sun., Nov. 16: at New Orleans, 1 p.m.*
Sun., Nov. 23: at Houston, 1 p.m.*
Sun., Nov. 30: at Tampa Bay, 1 p.m.*
Sun., Dec. 7: PITTSBURGH, 1 p.m.*
Sun., Dec. 14: at Cleveland, 1 p.m.*
Mon., Dec. 22: DENVER, 8:30 p.m. (ESPN)
Sun., Dec. 28: at Pittsburgh, 1 p.m.*

(Chick Ludwig hosts “The Chick Ludwig Show” weekdays 3-6 p.m. on Dayton’s WONE-AM (980) and “Monday Morning Quarterback” on Mondays from 6-9 a.m. on Cincinnati’s Fox Sports 1360 (WSAI-AM). Follow Ludwig on Twitter @ChickLudwig)

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