2022 NFL schedule release: Bengals opponents, previews, full list of teams on regular-season schedule

The big waves of free agency are over. The draft is complete. Now, all eyes are on the upcoming NFL season. Fresh off of their team’s best season in over 30 years, Bengals fans are anxiously awaiting the 2022 season. The Bengals boast one of the league’s top quarterbacks in Joe Burrow, arguably the league’s best receiving corps (led by Ja’Marr Chase), and a defense that should be even better this season with the first-round selection of former Michigan safety Daxton Hill .

Cincinnati aggressively addressed its two biggest weaknesses this offseason: secondary and offensive line. Along with Hill, the Bengals drafted fellow defensive backs Cam Taylor-Britt and Tycen Anderson. They used free agency to bolster the offensive line, signing veterans Ted Karras, Alex Cappa and and La’el Collins. Given their offseason additions, the Bengals appear primed for another deep playoff run and a possible return to the Super Bowl.

First, they’ll have to make it through their 2022 opponents. Below, find a complete look at the teams set to square off with Cincinnati this year, as well as a rundown of its 18-week regular-season schedule (once announced):

2022 opponents

Baltimore Ravens: Baltimore was on the receiving end of two beatdowns at the hands of the Bengals in 2021. In the later blowout win, Burrow threw for a franchise record of 525 yards and four touchdowns. The Ravens made waves during the draft after trading receiver Marquise Brown to the Cardinals. The move was a surprise for Lamar Jackson, whose team failed to make the playoffs last season for the first time in his career.

Pittsburgh Steelers: Cincinnati swept its long-time division rival last season. The Bengals have won three straight over the Steelers dating back to the 2020 season. The Steelers specifically had issues last season against Burrow, who completed nearly 81% of his passes in Cincinnati’s two wins over Pittsburgh.

Cleveland Browns: The Browns, who acquired Deshaun Watson this offseason, are looking to rebound following a disappointing 8-9 season. Ironically, the Browns ’best performance last season came against the Bengals in Cincinnati in Week 9. Denzel Ward’s 99-yard pick-six and Nick Chubb’s 70-yard touchdown keyed Cleveland’s 41-16 win.

Dallas Cowboys: Two of the NFL’s most potent offenses will square off in Dallas. It is also a matchup between last year’s Comeback Player of the Year (Burrow) and the quarterback who was also in the running to win CPOY (Dak Prescott). This game has probably been circled by Collins, a longtime starter for the Cowboys before they released him this offseason.

New England Patriots: This matchup will mark Cincinnati’s first against the Patriots without Tom Brady under center since 2001. That’s good news for the Bengals, who went 1-7 against Brady during his 20-year Patriots career. Brady’s replacement, second-year quarterback Mac Jones, helped the Patriots clinch a playoff berth during his first season in Foxborough. This will also mark Burrow’s first game against a Bill Belichick-led defense.

New Orleans Saints: New Orleans is a vastly different team than the one that put 51 points on the Bengals back in 2018. Dennis Allen has succeeded Sean Payton as the team’s head coach. Jameis Winston has replaced Drew Brees as New Orleans’ starting quarterback. The Saints do still have running back Alvin Kamara, receiver Michael Thomas, and defensive end Cameron Jordan. New Orleans missed the playoffs in 2021 despite posting a 9-8 record.

New York Jets: The Jets have undergone massive personnel changes this offseason. New York is expected to start several members of their highly touted rookie class that includes receiver Garrett Wilson, cornerback Ahmad Gardner, defensive end Jermaine Johnson II, and running back Breece Hall. New York’s roster also includes several former Bengals in defensive end Carl Lawson and tight end CJ Uzomah.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers: The Bengals will face Brady for the first time since he signed with Tampa Bay in 2020. Cincinnati’s defense will have to be up to the task against a Tampa Bay offense that features Brady, receivers Mike Evans and Chris Godwin, and running back Leonard Fournette. This game will probably come down to which team can better protect their quarterback.

Atlanta Falcons: The Falcons were one of several teams who acquired veteran and rookie quarterbacks this offseason. Atlanta signed former Titans starter Marcus Mariota, then used a third-round pick to select former Cincinnati quarterback Desmond Ridder. The Falcons used their first-round pick to select Drake London, a 6-foot-5 receiver who the Bengals will undoubtedly focus on when the two teams face off this season.

Buffalo Bills: A matchup between two of the AFC’s premier teams. Led by quarterback Josh Allen and receiver Stefon Diggs, the Bills raced to the divisional round last season before suffering another playoff loss in Kansas City. While they dominated subpar passers, the Bills’ pass defense struggled against elite quarterbacks in 2021. Part of that was due to the loss of Tre’Davious White, who this season will be flanked in the lineup by rookie cornerback Kaiir Elam following Levi Wallace’s offseason departure to Pittsburgh.

Carolina Panthers: Many thought the Panthers would use the No. 6 overall pick to select Kenny Pickett, who ultimately landed in Pittsburgh. Carolina instead used a third-round pick to select former Ole Miss quarterback Matt Corral. For now, the Panthers’ starting quarterback is Sam Darnold, who lost his first and only start against the Bengals back in 2019 as a member of the Jets.

Miami Dolphins: A matchup of two quarterbacks who were selected in the first round of the 2020 NFL Draft. Unlike Burrow, the jury is still out on Tua Tagovailoa, who won 13 of his 21 starts during his first two seasons in Miami. The Dolphins are hoping that the arrival of new coach Mike McDaniel and former Chiefs All-Pro receiver Tyreek Hill can help propel Tagovailoa’s game to the next level.

Tennessee Titans: Cincinnati beat Tennessee at its own game in last year’s divisional round showdown. The Bengals prevailed in a physical game that was decided in the final seconds of regulation by kicker Evan McPherson. Ryan Tannehill, who recently opened up about the impact last year’s loss had on him this offseason, will certainly be motivated for this game. Tannehill will have a rebuilt receiving corps to work with this season after the Titans acquired Robert Woods and rookie Treylon Burks to replace Julio Jones and AJ Brown.

Kansas City Chiefs: Down 21-3, the Bengals rallied in the second half to post a 27-24 win over the Chiefs in last year’s AFC title game. Following that loss, the Chiefs decided to revamp their receiving corps. While they lost Hill, Byron Pringle and Demarcus Robinson, Kansas City has brought in JuJu Smith-Schuster, Marquez Valdes-Scantling, and rookie Skyy Moore. The Chiefs added to their defense during the draft with the defensive selections end George Karlaftis and cornerback Trent McDuffie.

Full 2022 schedule

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