The Cleveland Browns and Cincinnati Bengals have had their fair share of slug fests, which has helped create a budding rivalry.
Last season, the Bengals made their first Super Bowl appearance since 1989, thanks to Joe Burrow and his supporting cast, but are still looking for their first Lombardi Trophy. On the other hand, the Browns are one of four teams in the NFL who’ve yet to play for a Super Bowl. It remains to be seen this year what will happen with Deshaun Watson and the NFL odds are acting accordingly.
These clubs are heading in positive directions in the AFC North. They may not have a lot of collective success overall, but there’s still been plenty of good matchups between the two.
Here’s a look at one of the more promising rivalries in the NFL:
All-time record: Bengals 51-46
Record in the last 10 meetings: Cleveland leads 7-3
Longest Win Streak: Both teams have had seven-game win streaks
Current Streak: Browns have won four straight meetings
Best Game Cincinnati 58, Cleveland 48 (2004)
This game wasn’t the first, and it won’t be the last high-scoring affair between the Browns and Bengals. These two not only combined for the second highest scoring game in NFL history with 106 points, but also kept throwing constant haymakers like Mike Tyson and Evander Holyfield.
Once you thought one side was out of it, the other would come storming back and put points on the board. The finish was dramatic as Rudi Johnson clinched the game over halfway through the fourth quarter to put the Bengals up by 10 for good.
Carson Palmer threw for 251 yards and four touchdowns, but this game had a little bit of everything, including good defense. The teams combined to throw five interceptions, one of which was returned to the house by Deltha O’Neal. Even though neither side had a good record heading into this matchup, there’s no doubt this game went down in NFL history as one of the best on the gridiron.
It's Battle of Ohio Week! 😤
In 2004, Deltha O'Neal sealed a 58-48 Bengals victory in the highest-scoring game in AFC history. pic.twitter.com/b5m40zhOmw
— Cincinnati Bengals (@Bengals) November 3, 2021
Biggest Upset: Cleveland 51, Cincinnati 45 (2007)
In another high-scoring battle between AFC North foes, the Browns stunned the Bengals in September 2007.
Like the 2004 game, the Browns and Bengals went back-and-forth in this contest, but it was one that Cleveland wasn’t supposed to be in. The Bengals entered this contest as seven-point road favorites, which shows how much better the oddsmakers expected the visitors to be in this matchup.
Instead, the Browns pulled a shocker in Week 2, upsetting Carson Palmer and the Bengals. Derek Anderson had a field day against the Bengals secondary, throwing for 328 yards and five touchdowns, while Jamal Lewis had a monster day on the ground, rushing for 216 yards and a score.
Top Performer: Rudi Johnson
This name might not be the first to come to mind when you think of the Browns and Bengals rivalry, but if you look at his numbers and some of his single-game performances, you’ll see why he’s headlining.
Four of the top 10 rushing performances in Rudi Johnson’s career came against the Browns, including the best game of his career, rushing for 202 yards and a touchdown in 2004. Johnson ultimately rushed for 5,742 yards in his tenure with the Bengals, but four of his best individual performances came against Cleveland, which totaled an impressive 642 yards on the ground.
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