With the AFC out of the way, we set our sights on the teams of the National Football Conference. Being in another conference, it’s simply inevitable that these are teams the Bengals have played less, and thus fans may not have less hatred for these organizations. But, as the old saying goes, “where there’s a will, there’s a way.” We’re starting in the NFC North, a division with some pretty intense and long-running rivalries. Can Bengals fans potentially find a team they hate as much as these teams hate each other? We’re about to find out.
Da Bears. It’s safe to say these aren’t the Bears of yesteryear. Chicago has been in a funk for a while, and they just really haven’t been able to turn their fortunes around. Ever since the miracle season where a dominant Bears defense and a spectacular young Devin Hester on special teams almost carried Rex Grossman to a Super Bowl victory, Chicago has been in dismay. The Bengals have only played the Bears 10 times in their 50 year history, and lead the series 6-4. There’s really no game against the Bears I can truly remember aside from the 45-10 thrashing the Bengals dished out in 2009. And even then, it’s really just a memory because the Bengals beat them so terribly. Plus, who could hate the team behind the Super Bowl Shuffle? The Bengals play the Bears in Week 14 this year.
I don’t know about the rest of the Who Dey faithful, but I’ve always had a bit of bad blood for the Packers. They’ve been around for a while, they’ve got this annoying cheesehead persona going on, and just generally strike me as the Steelers of the midwest. That might be a tough accusation to make, and I don’t make it lightly, but I honestly can’t think of a time in my life that I wanted the Packers to win...unless they were playing Pittsburgh. Green Bay has also been a fairly successful franchise for some time, but the Bengals have beaten the Packers with some frequency in recent years. The Bengals lead the series all time 7-5 and they’ve won the last three matchups dating back to 2005, all of which were considered key victories for the Bengals in those seasons. Who could forget the great defensive stand by the Bengals to beat Green Bay in 2013? It was terrific. Can you hate a team for making you look so good? The Bengals play the Packers in Week 3 this year.
One of the saddest moments in recent memory in terms of my Bengals’ fandom was the day Mike Zimmer left Cincinnati to take the head coaching position with the Vikings. Paul Guenther has since proven to be a capable defensive coordinator in his place, but the Cincinnati defense just hasn’t had the same energy since Zim left. Some of the greatest Cincinnati defenses of all time were coached by Zimmer and to this day he’s still thought of fondly by Bengals fans all around the world. In a profession where assistant coaches aren’t often given much of a spotlight, it always seemed like Zimmer was an exception to the rule. Everyone knew how good he was and still is at his job. Between the franchises themselves it’s a deadlock, a 6-6 tie with the teams alternating wins on almost every occasion. For that reason, I think the sentiment for taking Zimmer away might lead to a lot of Vikings hate. One team will take the lead in the series this season as the Bengals play the Vikings in Week 15.
Well, if you want to look at fellow cursed teams, I believe the Lions would be a great place to start. The team has had some tremendous talent walk into their building, particularly during the past decade, but they just haven’t been able to turn that into consistent success. Matthew Stafford might be one of the toughest quarterbacks in the league, Calvin Johnson unquestionably was the marquee player at his position, and defensive forces like Ndamukong Suh couldn’t be ignored. Unfortunately for the Lions, it just has never come together for them. Against the Bengals their success has also not been great. The Bengals lead the Lions 8-3 all time and Cincinnati has won the last five games. Detroit’s last win against the Bengals was in 1992 in the now demolished Riverfront Stadium. I wasn’t even alive until a few months after this game. That’s rough. The Bengals play the Lions in Week 16 this season.
Which NFC North Team do you hate the most?
This poll is closed
Green Bay Packers
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