There is much that could be said about how the Bengals own a winning 45-37 overall record against their in-state rivals, and how that record is an even more impressive 21-12 since the Browns were resurrected by the league in 1999.
And we could laugh at the Browns’ failed string of starting quarterbacks since that 1999 return to professional football. But we covered much of that when we revisited the Bengals’ first matchup with the Browns in Week 9.
Speaking of Week 9, how did that matchup turn out?
Week 9: Bengals 31 – Browns 10
From the onset, the Bengals controlled the game, scoring on their opening drive, and never giving up the lead.
The Browns made the score close at halftime at 14-10 on a touchdown pass to Duke Johnson with 27 seconds to play. But those were the last points the Browns scored that night.
The second half belonged to the Bengals, who did not surrender a single first down to the Browns until there were under three minutes left to play in the game. The Bengals’ defense was dominant throughout the game, giving up only 213 total yards, while the offense racked up 371 yards.
The Bengals doubled up the Browns on the ground, rushing for 152 yards, while allowing only 69 yards on the ground for for the Browns.
And we’d be remiss if we didn’t recall that the first matchup was the Tyler Eifert show, with Eifert scoring three touchdowns, on only five catches.
Is the Week 13 game any different than the Week 9 game?
Interestingly, there are a lot of similarities for both teams heading into the game.
Last time, the Bengals were undefeated and vying for a playoff bye. This time, the Bengals are 9-2, and still in the hunt for a playoff bye.
Last time, the Browns were 2-6 and trending downward. This time the Browns are 2-9 and still trending downward, having guaranteed themselves yet another losing season.
Last time, the Browns were bringing in a new starting quarterback, giving Johnny Manziel only his second start of the season, and first start after a seven week hiatus on the bench. This time, the Browns will be giving Austin Davis his first start as a Cleveland Brown with Manziel as his backup.
Last time, Manziel was not the preferred quarterback of the Browns’ coaching staff, only playing because Josh McCown was hurt. This time, Manziel has lost even more favor with the Browns’ coaching staff, being demoted to third string following a party-happy bye week. But, McCown is again hurt.
Last time, the Browns only had one rushing touchdown from a running back all season. This time, the Browns still only have one rushing touchdown from a running back all season.