That came during Jeremy Hill’s rookie season, and he remembers that day all too well. Cincinnati went into that Week 5 game 3-0 and looking like a real Super Bowl threat.
They left New England with what to this day is the worst loss Jeremy Hill has ever suffered; a 43-17 beatdown by the real title contenders, who went on to win the super Bowl that very season.
Hill doesn’t want to re-live that feeling again.
“I remember last time we went up there and it was not fun,” Hill told ESPN. “It was not fun to be a part of and I think everyone on this team remembers that.”
That game was actually a breakout of sorts for Hill, who finished with a career-high 68 receiving yards. It was all for not though in a blowout loss, and it’s not something Hill or his teammates want to re-live.
Defensive end Carlos Dunlap has been with the Bengals since 2010, and he’s been on the wrong end of a few beatdowns. However, that 26-point loss is the second-worst loss he’s ever been part of, not to mention the second-most points ever allowed by a defense he was part of.
Being an eight-point underdog this week, Dunlap knows his team will be discounted in New England, but he hopes to prove this Bengals team is far better than that 2014 club, not to mention the one that went down 28-0 last week in Dallas.
“If I watched us play [Sunday], I would say the same thing, but all we can do is shut them up on Sunday,” Dunlap said. “Best way to do it is to answer the questions.”
But while this game is a big one for the Bengals on paper, Andrew Whitworth knows that it ultimately is just one game in a 16-game season.
“I don’t think we worry about it,” Whitworth said. “I think a lot of those things get blown up by people trying to create an interesting game. For us, it’s football, you go put your hand in the ground and try to score more points than the other team. Whose homecoming it is and who’s excited to be there doesn’t really matter to us.”
For the most part, Whitworth is right that this is ‘just’ one game. It certainly feels a lot more important though when you’re 2-3 and staring right at 2-4, a tough hole for any team to climb out of.