The Bengals loss to the Browns on Thursday Night Football may have been more devastating than anyone realized at the time. Losing at home to Cleveland just doesn't happen. In fact, the Bengals had won nine of their past 10 games at home vs. Cleveland prior to Thursday night.
Losing at home to their in-state rival has been a rarity for Cincinnati since Marvin Lewis became head coach. His only losses at home to the Browns came in his first year as head coach, and then in 2008 when the Ryan Fitzpatrick-led Bengals hit rock bottom.
Needless to say, Lewis' teams haven't been anything to speak of to begin with when they've lost to Cleveland, but it goes far deeper than that. The Bengals don't lose to the Browns at home, but when they do, they usually don't make it to the NFL playoffs.
In fact, the only time the Bengals lost at home to Cleveland and made it to the playoffs was in 1981.
That's it. No other Bengals team has lost to the Browns at home and made the playoffs. The franchise has suffered just 15 home defeats to Cleveland in the franchise's 46-year history.
When they have, the playoffs have rarely followed. Will history follow suit with Cincinnati's Thursday night debacle?