Sunday Preview – The Strangest Games are Browns-Bengals Games

No, I’m pretty sure they don’t have souls. Good try, though.

No, not that kind of preview.

If you’re into:

1. Injuries
2. Looking at team stats.
3. Predicting the weather.
4. Rey Mauallauagauaaga trash-talking
5. Looking at evil Ginger People QB’s

You should probably look elsewhere.


And everyone knows where to find reference material for the Braylon-i-zation of Greg Little and too late pseudo-exposes of dead people.

I don’t think I need to add the link, do I?

Instead, let’s focus on what could be another in a series of bizarre Browns-Bengals matchups.

In at least one of the two annual Browns-Bengals matchups, something that ranges from insanely unique to extraordinarily unusual to apocalyptic occurs. This is the series where either a Browns’ player breaks out (only to later crumble) or entire coaching regimes either ascend or fall to rumble (sometimes during the same game).

To review the past decade or so, we’ve experienced the following things occur during a Browns-Bengals game:

Akili Smith has his NFL coming out party at the expense of the team who allegedly used him as negotiating leverage against Tom Condon, Tim Couch’s agent. And just think the impact of that statement.

Anyway, Smith goes 25 of 42 for 221 yards and 2 touchdowns – then promptly gets sucked out of the NFL universe.

THIS was the guy Dwight Clark thought about drafting.

Tim Couch throws for 259 yards and 2 touchdowns as the Browns even their record at 1-1. And if you aren’t impressed by these numbers, then you must not have watched the Eagles’ game last week.

For a contrast, in the rematch two months later, Doug Pederson and Spergon Wynn were a combined 13 of 36 for 147 yards and an interception in a 12-3 loss.

So – does this mean we were better off in 2000?

The Browns blank the Bengals 18-0, holding Jon Kitna to four completions and collecting 3 interceptions. And although the memories are a bit fuzzy, 2001 featured a few of these stellar defensive moments.

In another second week win, Kelly Holcomb throws two touchdowns and the Browns pick off Gus Frerotte three times in a 20-7 win. However, most Browns’ fans were waiting for Dwayne Rudd to somehow ruin the certain victory. In the rematch, Couch throws for 242 yards and three touchdowns as the Browns pick up a rare season sweep.

Suggs was actually placed on the IR during this run.

After a surprise playoff run a year prior, the Browns close out a disappointing season with a 22-14 win that featured Lee Suggs blasting the Bengals for 186 yards and two touchdowns. Suggs later blew out three ACL’s while sitting on the team bus.

On a related note, Corey Dillon only collected 50 rushing yards in this same game. Yet, Dillon feasted on Browns’ defenses for half a decade, including single-game totals of 168, 192, 137, 140 and 108.

Andre Davis (not the linebacker but the track star) tied an NFL record with a 99-yard receiving touchdown in the first Browns-Bengals game of 2004, but Butch Davis’ NFL finale proved to be much more entertaining. The two teams combined for 966 total yards, 106 points and 9 passing touchdowns – numbers that Pat Shurmur would swear aren’t real.

You know Romeo had no clue who this guy was.

Stamp your official Browns Fan card if you remember Frisman Jackson catching 8 passes for 128 yards and a touchdown on opening day.

Charlie Frye throws four interceptions in a 30-0 loss marked by the ascension of Braylon Edwards as “locker room leader.”

Still perhaps the biggest surprise of the expansion era, no one forgets Derek Anderson’s 2007 coming out party (328 yards, five touchdowns). Yet everyone tends to forget Carson Palmer’s six touchdowns. And everyone would like to forget Anderson’s late season meltdown in Cincinnati (4 interceptions) which cost the Browns a playoff spot.

Unfortunately, the “Bad DA” appeared more than the “Good DA.”

Ryan Fitzpatrick beat Ken Dorsey. In a league governed by quarterback play.

And if you think the Browns’ offense is bad now, you must have also forgot the depths of 2009. In his best (only) performance of his career, Mohamed Massaquoi catches 8 passes for 148 yards.

Seneca Wallace throws for 184 yards and Peyton Hillis runs for 102 in a 23-30 victory. Later in the year, Brian Robiskie catches 5 passes for 182 yards and a touchdown. Colt McCoy has perhaps his best day as a pro – completing 19 of 25 passes for 243 yards in a close loss.

Bruce Gradkowski channels his inner Bernie Kosar and spoils what was a decent Browns’ defensive effort.

I couldn’t find an image of Robiskie’s catch against the Bengals. But here’s his other one.

And because all of these things happened – and because there is no logic to Kelly Holcomb, Andre Davis, Lee Suggs, Frisman Jackson, Derek Anderson, Mohamed Massaquoi and Brian Robiskie being associated with NFL stardom – something bizarre can and will happen on Sunday in Cincinnati.

So here’s my prediction – and again I’m stressing how completely illogical this is – I think the following occurs:

The Browns beat the Bengals in a shootout. Brandon Weeden throws for 400 yards, Trent Richardson looks like an NFL running back and Pat Shurmur doesn’t make pouty faces.

Strange things happen when the Browns and Bengals get together.

You evil, evil…..thing.

Or I’ve been hypnotized.


Join in some Twitter fun during the game.  I will try to make some jokes and comments that are kind of witty, but hopefully not obnoxious.  Then, what will happen is usually around the 2nd quarter, I’ll be so sick of the people on Twitter doing the same thing that I will stop.

Either way, follow along @DaveKolonich and let’s get a hash tag going.  I prefer the ones that have already been started, like #reboot

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