Bengals' Road Opener "Speeds Up" Season

This is no ordinary West Coast trip for the Bengals, who open the 2015 regular season on Sunday for the sixth year in a row away from Cincinnati at Oakland against Jack Del Rio's Raiders.

With Sunday's regular-season opener at Oakland being the sixth straight Bengals opener on the road, coach Marvin Lewis was asked about the last time he can remember Cincinnati opening the regular season at home.

"I can remember one of the last defensive plays opening at home," he said Monday with a laugh while recalling an improbable Denver Broncos play that defeated Cincinnati in the 2009 opener. "That I can remember. I don’t remember any of the positives. But I can remember that last defensive snap when we opened at home. It’s been a while.”

Lewis said it hasn't necessarily been tough opening on the road. After all, it makes for more home games after that point. He said it has been different.

"The whole thing speeds up. This week, it’s the first game for a new coach who basically grew up in the area (Jack Del Rio)," Lewis said. "And he’s an experienced NFL coach with an experienced staff, and they’re going to be jacked up and ready to go."

Lewis remembers the Bengals' last visit to Oakland. It came during his first season as Bengals head coach.

"The last time we were there, early in the season, the second game of the year in ’03, it was the day that they were crowned AFC champs (from 2002)," Lewis recalled.

Lewis said he hasn't received an explanation for the spate of road openers.

“I think it’s the way the Reds schedule has fallen," he said. "Unless we have a Monday Night game, we’ve been on the road and they’ve ended up being home. So, we decided not to challenge that. Conversely, we get a chance, generally, to finish at home, so I like that. I’ll take that trade.”

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