Reviewing Bengals' top 2015 schedule storylines

CINCINNATI -- Now that the Cincinnati Bengals' 2015 schedule has been released it's a good time to quickly review some of the top storylines entering this season's games.

Perhaps the biggest on-field issue pertaining to this schedule has to do with all the travel the Bengals will have this year. After flying 8,222 miles round-trip for road games in 2014, they will traverse 18,636 miles total in 2015. That's thanks in large part to road games at San Francisco, Oakland, Denver and Arizona.

Here are a few other intriguing storylines to be aware of:

Week 1, at Oakland

In addition to this being the Bengals' home opener, it also will be the first time offensive coordinator Hue Jackson goes against his former employer. Although Jackson has served on coaching staffs for several different teams, the Raiders are the only ones who have given him a head-coaching opportunity, hiring him in 2011 before firing him at the end of that year. The Raiders went 8-8 that season and the year before (when he was their offensive coordinator). Both .500 seasons were the closest they've come to having a winning record since 2002. Bengals defensive tackle Pat Sims also will be returning to Oakland after leaving the Raiders in free agency last month.

Weeks 3 and 17, Baltimore

The two Baltimore games have the obvious divisional intrigue, but they also will be the first between the teams since the controversial pass-interference penalty late in last year's midseason meeting helped the Bengals complete a sweep of the season series. Will Cincinnati be able to pull off another 2-0 showing against a Ravens team that lost several key pieces this offseason?

Week 5, Seattle

This will be the first meeting between young quarterbacks Russell Wilson and Andy Dalton. In three seasons, Wilson has been to two Super Bowls. Dalton has reached the playoffs all four years he's been in the league.

Weeks 8 and 14, Pittsburgh

Like versus Baltimore, the Bengals have a lot on the line in this AFC North series. One intriguing preseason storyline here concerns the possible drama between Bengals safety Reggie Nelson, Steelers coach Mike Tomlin and running back Le'Veon Bell. In last year's finale at Pittsburgh, Nelson delivered a hard shot to Bell's knee at the end of a run that forced Bell from the game and to miss a playoff game. After the final whistle, Tomlin was seen saying something to Nelson as the teams walked off the field.

Weeks 9 and 13, Cleveland

How Johnny Manziel responds to last year's 30-0 shelling in his starting debut may be the biggest preseason "Battle of Ohio" storyline. The teams also have another nationally televised game in the mix, allowing the Browns to show off their new uniforms to a broad audience.

Week 11, at Arizona

Another reunion game of sorts, the Bengals will be facing their former No. 1 overall pick, Carson Palmer, for only the second time. This game also marks Cincinnati's second trip to Arizona in two years. The teams played a preseason game there last August.

Week 15, at San Francisco

The Bengals are hoping this will be the first of two games at Levi's Stadium this year. San Francisco hosts Super Bowl 50 in February. This game pits two former 2011 draft picks against one another. Dalton for the first time will be facing Colin Kaepernick, the quarterback taken one spot behind him in the draft.