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Chiefs TE Travis Kelce happy to play Bengals early in season

The Cincinnati Bengals schedule was released on Wednesday and one of the big time matchups comes early on in the seasons when they face off against the Kansas City Chiefs in Week 2.

Last season, the game they played against the Chiefs was in Week 16, a game the Bengals lost 25-17 when Jake Browning was leading the team under center since Joe Burrow was out after getting wrist surgery.

Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce doesn’t mind that the game is earlier this season, as he said on his New Heights podcast which he hosts with his brother Jason. He actually prefers they play the Bengals earlier in the year.

“I do like playing the potential, like, top teams in the league early,” Kelce said. “I’d rather play them early or like midseason. I don’t like playing at the end of season outside of the division. I just feel like it’s too close to the playoffs and if I have a chance to play them in the playoffs, I want to keep that game fresh. I feel like we’ve always played the Bengals in December or January. In my head, I’m like, ‘Man, I really just want to save the game and the excitement and the hype of that game for the playoffs.’

“Now with that being said, it comes around in the playoffs and you’re still excited and it’s still an unbelievable matchup. I think it’s cool that this year, we play the Ravens early [and] we play the Bengals early, and those are going to be two of the best teams in the NFL. So I’m excited, and it gets those two under our belt and kind of gives us somewhere to kind of gauge where we are amongst those teams early on. I like to see where I’m at and see what direction I need to go right now, if that makes sense.”

It’s possible Bengals players feel the same way about the schedule being set up the way it is. The Chiefs are obviously a team they could match up against in the playoffs. They will be able to measure where they are against the best in the league early on in the season.

Story originally appeared on Bengals Wire