The Cincinnati Bengals didn’t get the NFL to agree to their offer of being on the new annual Black Friday game, opting for the Jets and Dolphins instead.
But the NFL did consider the Bengals for the slot — in a primetime showdown against the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Mohammad Ahmad of Cleveland.com revealed the nugget of info:
North said that, while the Bengals’ intention was admirable, the league actually did consider having the Bengals and Steelers meet that week in an AFC North showdown. They also considered the Las Vegas Raiders potentially hosting a game, given the marketing tagline “Black Friday in the Black Hole” sounded appealing.
The Bengals offered to be involved or host the annual Black Friday game, sensing a chance to put the organization in a prominent slotting on a holiday slate similar to the locked-in Thanksgiving teams.
Instead, the Bengals will play the Steelers in Week 12 at a 1 p.m. ET kickoff and again in Week 16 at 4:30 on December 23, an NBC spotlight.
The Bengals were given four primetime games and a host of late-afternoon kickoff games. That they were one of the few teams in consideration for the Black Friday special at all says a lot, but it’s hard not to think about how great a potential annual holiday showdown between the Bengals and Steelers might have been.