Two of the highest scoring games in NFL history came in the battle between the Bengals and the Browns. With combined point totals of 106 and 96 the offenses exploded while the defenses were terrible for both teams. Lets take a look at these two games and wonder if we should expect something similar tomorrow.
The first took place in November of 2004. The 3 - 7 Browns were in Cincinnati to face the 4-6 Bengals in a season where both teams were struggling. Kelly Holcomb was the signal caller for the Browns and threw for 400 yds and 5 touchdowns in a losing effort.
Carson Palmer tossed 4 touchdowns and 3 interceptions while Rudi Johnson added 202 yds rushing and 2 touchdowns. Two previously struggling offenses combined for 49 first downs and 966 yards. The first five possessions of the second half resulted in touchdowns.
It was a fantasy football explosion that did little more than get two mediocre teams in the news for a week. The Browns went on to finish the season at 4 and 12. The Bengals turned in an 8 and 8 season.
The second game (which I unfortunately attended) was in Cleveland in September of 2007. The Browns were coming off a 34 - 7 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers. The Bengals had just beat the Ravens and no one was giving the Browns a chance. Even when tailgating in the famous muni-lot, Browns fans had no confidence in their team that day.
What happened was another offensive explosion.
Jamal Lewis ended up with 216 yds on the ground while Derek Anderson had 328 yds passing and 5 touchdowns.
Carson palmer had 401 yds passing and 6 touchdowns in a losing effort. The Browns topped the Bengals that day 51 - 45.
The Brownies went on to a 10 and 6 record and what looked like a possible playoff birth until the Bengals topped them later in the season 19 - 14.
The relevance of these games to what is expected tomorrow is weak. Both teams seem to be propped up by a stout defense in this matchup. No one expects the kind of day where basketball like scores are put up. The same could be said in the games above too. in the end we expect the win, and if it comes at the expense of a 400 yd 5 touchdown day for Andy Dalton we will take it. But, if the defense allows Brian Hoyer a career day, we will be left with more questions than answers about this current Bengals team.
I don't expect we will see such a game. I think the Bengals play they type of game that is closer than what everyone would have liked to see but was never really a question that the Bengals were going to win. My prediction is the Bengals win 24 to 16.