Cincinnati Bengals: Top 5 Season Openers

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Sep 13, 2015; Oakland, CA, USA; General view of a flyover during the playing of the national anthem with a United States flag on the field before the NFL game between the Cincinnati Bengals and the Oakland Raiders at O.co Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 13, 2015; Oakland, CA, USA; General view of a flyover during the playing of the national anthem with a United States flag on the field before the NFL game between the Cincinnati Bengals and the Oakland Raiders at O.co Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports /

#5.) 1970: Bengals 31, Raiders 21

Heading into their third season as a franchise, the Bengals found a new home, moving from Nippert Stadium to Riverfront Stadium in 1970.

Their first opponent at their new home venue? The Oakland Raiders, who had just finished their final season in the AFL with a 12-1-1 record, eventually losing to the Kansas City Chiefs in the AFL Championship game.

Despite finishing 4-9-1 in 1969, the Bengals handed the Raiders their lone loss of the regular season and kept the Raiders’ number when the two teams met for the 1970 opener.

Led by a pair of touchdowns by quarterback Sam Wyche, the Bengals and Raiders were deadlocked at 21-21 until a 76-yard touchdown run by Jess Phillips put Cincinnati up for good. Horst Muhlmann would add a field goal in the fourth quarter to seal a 10-point victory for the Bengals, 31-21.

The win over Oakland began a bizarre season for the Bengals. They would lose their next six games, but ended the season with a seven-game winning streak and an 8-6 record, good enough to edge Cleveland by a game for the AFC Central title.

Johnny Unitas and the Baltimore Colts shutout Cincinnati in the playoffs, but the Bengals were the quickest expansion team to make the postseason for nearly 30 years until the Jacksonville Jaguars and Carolina Panthers each reached their respective conference championship games in 1996.

Next: Battle of Ohio

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