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Bengals win over Buccaneers was eight years in the making

It took the Bengals eight years to beat the Buccaneers after the '06 loss, but Cincinnati did... with the exact same score and an odd series of events in the fourth quarter. And who says history doesn't repeat itself?

Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

There's a few of you that remember the revenge that Sunday's win imposes. And there's probably even less of you that actually thrive on such things.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers had first down from the Bengals 32-yard line with 2:58 remaining in the game. Cincinnati was maintaining a 13-7 lead. Defensive end Justin Smith sacked Buccaneers quarterback Bruce Gradkowski for an eight-yard loss, putting the Buccaneers back to the Bengals 40-yard line. Check that... Smith was called for roughing the passer.

The officials moved Tampa Bay to the Bengals 25-yard line. Five plays later, Gradkowski found Michael Clayton for an eight-yard touchdown reception, giving Tampa Bay an eventual 14-13 win. NOTE: The Smith sack was what most of us attached our anger to, but the Bengals just sucked overall that day.

The Buccaneers were 0-4 coming into that game in 2006, while the Bengals were 3-1 and coming off a week five bye. CIncinnati would go on to lose three of their next four and finish their final 11 games with a 5-6 record.

It's been eight years, but the Bengals finally made their trip back to Tampa and served their Klingon-temperature-appropriate dish with their own 14-13 win on Sunday. And much like the game in 2006, this year included an odd series of events in the fourth quarter.

Tampa, losing 14-13, took possession from their own 20-yard line with 2:01 remaining in the fourth quarter. With a series of completed passes, including a 29-yard screen to running back Bobby Rainey, the Buccaneers reached the Bengals 31-yard line.

Oh, no.

An offensive hold forced Tampa back to their own 41 when Josh McCown, taking a second down snap with 32 seconds remaining, finding Louis Murphy for a 21-yard gain. The play converted a second-and-15, reaching the Bengals 20-yard line when the Bengals called timeout with 26 seconds remaining.

Actually, it was simpler than that.

As we understand it, the coaching staff in the booth had immediately noted that the Tampa Bay Buccaneers had 12 players on the field during McCown's 21-yard pass to Murphy. Because Tampa Bay was rushing to the line of scrimmage (they were out of timeouts and the clock was dwindling), the booth wanted Lewis to get the officials attention.

So Lewis threw the red flag, aware that he'd lose one of his three time outs because coaches can't challenge within two minutes. However, that REALLY got the officials attention. More than worth it, no?

They reviewed and found 12 players.

The officials moved Tampa Bay to the Bengals 46-yard line (original line of scrimmage plus five-yard penalty), forcing them into a second and 20 situation. McCown threw consecutive incomplete passes and fell seven yards shy of a first down during Mike Evans 13-yard completion on fourth down.

Andy Dalton took a knee and Cincinnati won... 14-13.

This would become Cincinnati's first win in Tampa Bay since Sept. 25, 1983. Thanks to former Bengals first round pick Jack Thompson throwing three interceptions for Tampa Bay, Cincinnati claimed the 23-17 win that afternoon.