Before the season on the Inside The Jungle podcast we held the annual predictions episode with our expected wins and losses for the season. Believe it or not, I had the Bengals at 5-0 up to this point. Then before the season I saw Week 6 and the Bills and had a bad feeling.
"The Bengals always seem to struggle with the Bills" was my reasoning for picking the Bengals to drop their first game of the season. I had no facts, or game matchup wisdom, I just thought the Bengals traditionally have trouble with the Bills. There is a reason I have this thought.
Though the Bengals beat Buffalo in overtime two years ago, that isn't the game engrained in my mind's eye. The Bengals were at home in 2011 hosting the Bills--I remember that game much more clearly. The Bengals took care of business there and won the game with a final score of 23-20. Looking back at matchups before then, it is alarming. The Bengals lost their previous 10 against the Bills leading up to the 2011 matchup. That's 10 losses in a row. There is no wonder I had the thought the Bengals struggle against that team.
The all time record has the Bills on top with a 5 win margin. So it's not like the Bengals never beat this team, they have just failed to win any in my prime Bengals fan years.
So the dread I felt had nothing to do with the actual matchup. The Bengals are a superior team. The hesitation came from remembering, somewhere deep, the Bengals struggle with this squad. The all time series has been dominated by streaks (the Bengals won 5 in a row before the 10 game losing streak). So all signs point to the Bengals taking this one home. All they need now is to just go out and do it.