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Week 9 Cincinnati Bengals vs Cleveland Browns: Revisiting recent matchups

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A look at the recent history between the Cincinnati Bengals and their Week 9 opponent, the Cleveland Browns

Joe Robbins/Getty Images

The Bengals have a long history with the team from Cleveland, named after founder Paul Brown. If the Browns had not unceremoniously separated Paul Brown from his team, the Cincinnati Bengals may not exist.

Throughout their history, the Bengals own a winning record of 44-37 overall against Paul Browns’ former team. And that record is an impressive 20-12 since the Browns re-entered the league back in 1999, after a three year hiatus when the team bolted for Baltimore, taking everything but their name with them.

Since re-entering the league 16 years ago, the Browns 2.0 have been the butt of many jokes due to prolonged futility. Their list of starting quarterbacks has been a "Who’s Who" of washed up journeymen and failed draft picks. They are on their eighth head coach in 16 seasons, and haven’t had a winning record in almost a decade (2007).

They own an 86-177 record since returning to the NFL, and have been so bad they were the obvious choice for a recent movie (Draft Day) about a general manager turning around a failed franchise with high draft picks who continually flub the draft. So far, the part about turning the team around is still fiction.

For the second straight year the Bengals host the Cleveland Browns on Thursday night

6-Nov-14 L Cincinnati Bengals Cleveland Browns 3 24 boxscore

Last year the Bengals got embarrassed by the Browns at home, losing 24-3 behind four turnovers. "Bad Andy" completed only 10 of 33 passes for 86 yards, with three interceptions, before getting yanked for backup Jason Campbell. Jeremy Hill contributed a lost fumble on one of his 12 carries that night. The Bengals leading receiver was Jermain Gresham with 29 receiving yards.

The Bengals gave up a rushing touchdown to each of the Browns’ three running backs (Ben Tate, Isaiah Crowell, Terrance West), and allowed Brian Hoyer to complete an efficient 65 percent of his passes for 198 yards and no turnovers.

It wasn’t until the fourth quarter that the Bengals’ offense finally made it onto the Browns’ side of the field, but that solitary visit was quickly halted by another Andy Dalton interception.

Bengals found redemption to even the season series

14-Dec-14 W Cincinnati Bengals @ Cleveland Browns 30 0 boxscore

After beginning the 2014 season 7-4, and squarely in the playoff hunt, the Browns began to play like the Browns, and ended the year on a five game losing streak. In the middle of that late season collapse, the Bengals visited the Browns and put a redemptive smack down on the team by the lake.

The Bengals chewed up over seven minutes on a touchdown scoring opening drive, and never looked back. Jeremy Hill pounded his way to 148 yards and a pair of first half touchdowns, as the Bengals built a 20-0 lead at the break. Andy Dalton didn’t have a great game, but with Hill totaling over 150 yards, and Giovani Bernard contributing over 100 total yards himself, a big passing game was not required.

The Bengals were unrelenting against a big-talking Johnny Manziel in his first NFL start, intercepting him twice, and sacking him three times. Manziel completed 10 of 18 passes for only 80 yards and two picks.

2015’s first matchup is much different than 2014’s first matchup

In Week 10 of the 2014 season, the 5-2-1 Bengals were hosting the 5-3 Browns in a battle for playoff positioning. And after that game, the Browns emerged ahead of the Bengals in the playoff standings with less than half of the season remaining.

But that was last year. This time around, the Bengals are 7-0 and thinking of a playoff bye week, while the Browns are thinking of drafting yet another quarterback in April with yet another high draft pick.

The Bengals face a Cleveland Browns team again struggling to be relevant in the NFL. The Browns currently own a 2-6 record, with both of their wins coming against teams who are a combined 3-12 on the season. They have struggled on the ground, with only a lone rushing touchdown from their running backs, who are averaging 3.3 yards per carry on the season.