Yes, the 2023 Cincinnati Bengals’ hopes are over, and the team is currently a winless 0-5 against AFC North opponents, but history suggests the team will finish the season with a home win over the Cleveland Browns on Sunday.
Jay Morrison of Pro Football Network pointed out that the Bengals are an incredible 33-8 in their home finales the last 41 years which includes a 9-1 record in its last 10 final home games of the season.
The Bengals’ last loss in a home finale came during the team’s dreadful and injury-riddled 2020 season when the team went 4-11-1 and lost its final home game 38-3 to the Baltimore Ravens.
In the team’s 41-year span of dominating home finale, five of those contests have come against the Browns. In those games, the Bengals are 4-1, with wins in 1990, 1999, 2007, and 2019 and a loss in 2003.
The Browns beat the Bengals back on Sept. 10, 24-3 in Cleveland, and are currently 11-5 and locked into the AFC’s No. 5 seed. Thus, it’s likely the team will opt to rest several starters, such as starting quarterback Joe Flacco, who has been stellar in December since making his return to the NFL.
With history on its side and a Browns team likely to prioritize rest over a victory, the Bengals seem poised to finish the season with a win and at 9-8.
41 years of sending 'em home happy.— Jay Morrison (@ByJayMorrison) January 2, 2024
Even in some of the bleakest #Bengals seasons, they've found a way to win their last game in front of their fans.
They are a remarkable 33-8 in their last 41 home finales. pic.twitter.com/nP5Fgw4sDU