Reclaim the six-game lead
Welcome the 80th running of the "Battle of Ohio", where both NFL teams in the state of Ohio have been battling twice-a-year, every year, since 1970 (except the strike-shortened 1982 season and the four years Cleveland didn't have a team). The Bengals currently maintain a 42-37 record in the all-time series and are looking to expand their five-game margin to six.
For the first time in the series' history, one team expanded their lead over the other to six games when the Bengals beat Cleveland on Sept. 16 last year. The Browns battled back with a 34-24 win to reduce Cincinnati's margin back to five games.
Cleveland's biggest lead reached five games after opening the series at 6-1 into 1973. The Bengals have gone 41-31 since mid-1973, further exploded by more recent trends, winning 13 of the past 17 meetings.
With a victory, the Bengals can reclaim the six-game advantage.
No winning streaks will be broken this weekend. The Bengals longest winning streak against Cleveland reached five games from the second game in 2004 through the second game in 2006.
The Browns won seven straight starting with the second game in 1992. The streak improved Cleveland's all-time record from 20-24 to 27-24. It would take 10 years before Cincinnati reclaimed the series lead.
Records against the Browns
Two of the franchise's highest scoring games in team history have come against the Bengals and both were within the past ten years. Cincinnati's 58-48 on November 28, 2004 amounted to 106 points, the highest in franchise history and second-highest in league history (behind Washington's 72-41 win over the Giants in '66). It's the only game in franchise history where the Bengals scored double-digit points in all four quarters (14-13-14-17).
Three years later, the Browns and Bengals put 96 points on the board during Cleveland's 51-45 win over the Bengals on Sept. 16, 2008.
When the Bengals beat Cleveland 23-20 on Oct. 4, 2009, it became the longest game in franchise history not to end in a tie. Shayne Graham booted a 31-yard field goal with four seconds remaining in overtime.
Over 60,000 fans showed up at Riverfront Stadium to watch the first regular season game against the Bengals and Browns on Nov. 15, 1970 that was played in Cincinnati (second time in the series history). The Bengals won 14-10 behind Virgil Carter's 110 yards rushing -- only 100-yard rushing game by a quarterback in team history.
During a three-year period from 1972-74, the Browns and Bengals met during the preseason at Ohio Stadium in Columbus. The Browns won two of the three games.
Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis, whose first win in the NFL came against Cleveland, is 14-6 (.700) against the Browns, recording the most wins and the highest winning percentage for any Bengals head coach in the series. Sam Wyche is a close second with 10 wins and a .625 winning percentage. On the other hand, when Bill Belichick coached the Browns from 1991-95, the Browns were 8-2.
Forrest Gregg is the only person to head coach both teams during the Battle of Ohio. From 1980-83, Gregg went 3-4 against the Browns as Cincinnati's head coach. From 1975-77, he went 1-5 against the Bengals as the Browns head coach.
Record by Bengals head coaches against the Cleveland Browns
|1976-1978||Bill "Tiger" Johnson||3-2|