I had a chat with my friend, a quick chat actually and we came up with our top-five games that we'll never forget during the Marvin Lewis era. Actually, we couldn't determine a fifth, but had mentions for that debate. Here's our informal list that we did in five minutes.
- Bengals 24, Chiefs 19. The Bengals went into the game with a 4-5 record having won three of four games since the bye week in 2003. The Chiefs were undefeated (9-0). Leading up to the game, Chad Johnson gave his infamous guarantee that the Bengals will win. Jon Kitna completed 19 passes on 32 attempts for 233 yards passing and two scores (no picks). Rudi Johnson, after a 43-carry, 182-yard performance in a 34-27 win over Houston, rushed for 165 yards. But this game was all Peter Warrick -- a combined 201 yard performance receiving (114) and punt returns (87). After a 68-yard punt return for touchdown, Warrick gave the Bengals a 24-12 lead with six minutes left in the game on a 77-yard touchdown pass from Kitna. I will never forget two things. One, Warrick's pose holding the football high in the air on his final long touchdown. Two, how sour the Chiefs were after the loss. We didn't beat them, they claimed, they beat themselves. Right.
- Steelers 31, Bengals 17. I'm not going into great detail about this one because I'm sure most of you remember. What I will quickly recap is me during the game. When Chris Henry hauled down the 66-yard pass from Palmer on his first pass of the game, I was so pumped, I punched a hole in the drywall (not really). Then I heard Dave Lapham freak "oh no, help me, Jesus, God, NO!" After Palmer was carted off the field, I felt depressed. When Rudi Johnson scored on a 20-yard run over Eric Steinbach, I was depressed. When Kitna completed a seven-yard pass to T.J. Houshmandzadeh to go up 17-7, I was depressed. When the Bengals went into the lockerroom with a 17-14 lead at half-time, I was depressed. Palmer's injury kicked me in the gut, with the expectation, that it was simply a matter of time before the Bengals would lost it. The Steelers outscored the Bengals in the second half, 17-0.
- Bengals 27, Ravens 26. This is what I called at the time, the Carson Palmer coming out party -- the 12th game into his rookie playing season (sophomore season in all). The Bengals were losing, quite easily actually, 20-3 heading into the fourth quarter. Palmer strapped his helmet completing 10 of 13 passes for 200 yards and three touchdowns, in the fourth quarter.
- Broncos 24, Bengals 23. Remember 2006? Remember that if the Bengals won any of their final three games, they were in the playoffs. They lost to Indianapolis by 18 and to the Steelers on a 67-yard Santonio Holmes overtime touchdown reception. And absolutely to beat a dead horse, in those final three games, Chad Johnson averaged three receptions for 41 yards receiving (10-122) with no scores. It's the third game that I'll never forget. With just under four minutes left in the game, the Bengals took the ball at their own 10-yard line, down by 24-17. After an 11-play drive, the Bengals lined up second-and-ten at the Denver 10-yard line. Palmer completes a 10-yard pass to T.J. Houshmandzadeh for a touchdown with 46 seconds left in the game. Yea, baby! All we need is a PAT to take this game into overtime. If you don't remember what happened, then watch this (watch the end of two-minute clip). If you do, then, you know.
- Since we really couldn't come up with a fifth, here's a few mentions of others we won't forget.
- Game that the Bengals picked off Brett Favre five times and only won by seven points; and that fan that ran onto the field.
- Game that the Bengals won 58-48 against the Cleveland Browns in 2004 after both offenses nearly combined for 1,000 yards.
What do you guys got?