It is time for the next series history report, and today we will cover the Green Bay Packers' history against our next opponent, the Cincinnati Bengals. The Bengals joined the NFL in the 1970 merger and, as such, there are only 11 games between the two teams. Cincinnati leads the all-time series 6-5.
The Bengals were in fact a late arrival to the AFL, only starting play in 1968. They have the same color orange as the Cleveland Browns, largely because both teams share the same founder, Paul Brown. Brown coached the Bengals for several years, until the mid-1970s, and he faced the Packers in 1971. The Packers would take this first game, 20-17.
Following this, the teams met in back-to-back years in 1976 and 1977. The Bengals won both games, but the Packers atoned for these defeats by beating the Bengals in 1980 by the score of 14-9. The Bengals would bounce back, though, routing the Packers in 1983 and then beating them again in 1986. At this point, Cincinnati led the series 4-2.
In 1992, the Packers, 0-2, faced the Bengals at Lambeau Field. After Packer starter Don Majkowski was injured early on, a young backup named Brett Favre took the reins as quarterback for the first time. Midway through the fourth quarter, the Bengals led 17-3. Terrell Buckley, doing one of his few good things during his time in Green Bay, sparked a comeback by returning a punt for a touchdown. The Bengals answered with a field goal, but another touchdown pass, this one from Favre, cut the lead to 20-17. After a second Bengals field goal, Robert Brooks made a huge mistake by receiving a kickoff and then stepping out of bounds with just over a minute remaining, pinning the Packers deep.
This did not rattle Favre, who led the Packers downfield without a timeout or Sterling Sharpe after a long pass play, and he threw the game-winning touchdown pass to Kitrick Taylor as the Packers stunned the Bengals, 24-23.
In 1995, the teams met again at Lambeau. The Packers won, 24-10, but the victory proved costly as Reggie White pulled up late on a quarterback pressure, colliding with Sean Jones. White tore his hamstring on the play, but sat out just one week and returned against the Saints in Week 16 that year.
The Packers finally defeated the Bengals in Cincinnati for the first time in 1998, winning 13-6. Following this, the series went on hold for several years. The Packers played the AFC Central in 2001 as well, but did not draw the Bengals. This was largely due to the AFC Central being overloaded with six teams. In 2002, the NFL realigned, effectively splitting the AFC Central into two divisions, and the Bengals joined the AFC North.
In 2005, Favre returned to Cincinnati, and had what may have been his worst regular season game as a starter. By the time the carnage was over, he had thrown five interceptions. There was also a bit of drama off the field this day as well, as a fan ran onto the field late to take the ball from Favre.
Finally, in 2009, the Packers stayed at home following a thrilling comeback over the Chicago Bears, and played the Bengals. Cincinnati receiver Chad Johnson had said before the game that he would perform a Lambeau Leap if he scored a touchdown. The Packers led early, 14-7, and 21-14, but special teams lapses and defensive breakdowns (including Cincinnati converting a 3rd and 34) allowed the Bengals to take a 31-21 lead late in the fourth quarter. Johnson himself scored one of those touchdowns, and jumped into a small group of Bengals fans along the end zone.
Late in the fourth quarter, though, things got crazy. The Packers kicked a field goal to close to 31-24 with under a minute remaining. They then attempted an onside kick. Somehow, the Bengals failed to cover the kick and the Packers took possession again. Green Bay drove to the Bengals' 10-yard line, but couldn't snap the ball before time ran out (there was also a false start on the Packers as well, which would have negated any snap to begin with), and the Bengals eked out the 31-24 win.
There are currently no postseason games between the Packers and Bengals, and of course, there will not be unless they meet in a Super Bowl.
What are your memories of the Packers playing the Bengals?
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