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Remembering the best moments of Jon Kitna’s career with the Bengals

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The journeyman quarterback recently interviewed for the team’s open coaching job at the position he once played. It got us thinking about going down memory lane about his five years in Cincinnati.

Cincinnati Bengals vs Cleveland Browns

The Cincinnati Bengals are getting close to filling up the vacant spots on their coaching staff, as the sole opening left for the team is at receivers coach. One of the only interviews made public for the recently-filled quarterbacks coach gig that has since been filled by Alex Van Pelt, was with former signal-caller, Jon Kitna.

The journeyman quarterback played five of his 14 NFL seasons with the Bengals, which is the longest tenure of any of the four teams in which he suited up from 1997-2011. Kitna doesn’t have any NFL coaching experience as of yet, but he did coach the position group at a recent NFLPA Bowl under Mike Martz.

Even though Kitna was the quarterback for the majority of the franchise-worst 2002 campaign, he still had a lot of great moments while in Cincinnati. While it’s unknown if he’s going to get the job, we thought we could take a stroll down memory lane to revisit some of his best moments with the club.

December 30th, 2001: Kitna brings the Bengals an overtime win against the Steelers

In his first year with the Bengals, the Bengals were relatively competitive, even though they finished 6-10. Kitna started 15 games at quarterback, throwing for 3,216 yards, 12 touchdowns and 22 interceptions.

One of his best games of the season was against the rival Steelers, as he out-dueled Kordell Stewart for an overtime win. Kitna threw an astounding 68 passes, completing 35 of them. With 411 yards and two touchdowns it was one of the best games of his career.

Like the moxie Kitna often showed throughout his career, he led the team back for a tie with just 37 seconds left. He hit wide receiver Danny Farmer on an 18-yard touchdown to send it to overtime and grab the eventual win.

November 3rd, 2002: Bengals dominate Houston for their first win of the year

The 2002 season was just awful for the Bengals and their fans. However, their first win of the year was a doozy, as they pounded the Texans 38-3.

Kitna threw for four touchdowns, including two to Michael Westbrook, as well as 263 yards. His 146.8 rating was nearly perfect, as he only missed five passes on the entire day.

Though wins were hard to come by that year, their first was a major exclamation point. He totally outshined first overall pick, David Carr on his home turf.

November 16th, 2003: The Bengals stun the undefeated Chiefs

In Marvin Lewis’ inaugural campaign, the Bengals got off to a familiar slow start. But, after going 1-4, Cincinnati climbed back into the AFC playoff picture, winning three of their next four.

The 4-5 Bengals hosted the 9-0 Chiefs in a statement game for both teams. Chad Johnson boldly predicted a win for Cincinnati and the Bengals had his back in a signature win for Lewis.

Kitna threw for 233 yards two touchdowns and zero interceptions, including a 77-yard play to Peter Warrick. The game helped keep the Bengals in the playoff picture into the last week of the season.

November 30th, 2003: Cincinnati pulls off a last-minute win in Pittsburgh

Another huge win that had the Bengals sniffing the postseason for the first time since 1990 was one at Heinz Field. In a rare feat for Bengals quarterbacks against the Steelers, Kitna went turnover-less on the road.

The veteran quarterback threw for 271 yards and three touchdowns against the vaunted Steelers defense. The final touchdown was the game-winner to Matt Schobel for 18 yards with 13 seconds left.

In the small handful of wins Lewis has been able to garner against Pittsburgh, this is definitely one of the better ones—even if it was a down year for Bill Cowher’s club.