Bengals Throwback Thursday: 3 big moments vs Lions

Eric Bruns
Giovani Bernard #25 of the Cincinnati Bengals runs the football into the endzone against Tahir Whitehead #59 of the Detroit Lions (Photo by John Grieshop/Getty Images)
Giovani Bernard #25 of the Cincinnati Bengals runs the football into the endzone against Tahir Whitehead #59 of the Detroit Lions (Photo by John Grieshop/Getty Images) /

The Cincinnati Bengals and the Detroit Lions, two of the saddest franchises in the NFL. Cincinnati fans have not had the misfortune that Detroit fans have had. Sometimes you wonder what certain fan bases did to the football gods to deserve such misery.

Bengals fans have to wonder what we did to the football gods to deserve this playoff victory drought? In any matter, we do have one thing better than the Lions, a lead in the series of 9-3 with a six-game winning streak.

Can we continue the streak this Sunday? Hopefully, but in the interim, here are three big moments vs. the Lions.

Nov. 19, 1989 – Bengals dominate 42-7 after a scoreless 1st quarter

Ah the Boomer era, what a time to be a Bengals fan. This was the post-Super Bowl XXIII loss season. They did not make the postseason in ’89, but they still had a very explosive offense, evident by the beatdown they put on the Lions in Week 11.

The Lions started the game out well, scoring in the first couple minutes of the game. The great Barry Sanders punched it in from two yards out to take the lead 7-0. However, this ended all highlights for the Lions on this November day.

The Bengals exploded in the second quarter scoring four total touchdowns. It began with a touchdown pass to Tim McGee from Boomer then Craig Taylor ran one in and caught one from Boomer. To cap off a brilliant second quarter, the Cincy special teams blocked a punt and recovered it for a touchdown.

The Bengals let off the gas in the second half, only scoring two times, once in each quarter. Boomer threw a third touchdown pass in the third quarter and went the bench sometime later since the Bengals were up 35-7. He ended the day with 399 yards passing three touchdowns and one interception.

Backup Erik Wilhelm go in on the action and threw a touchdown pass in the fourth quarter. The ending score was 42-7 as the Bengals went on a 42-0 streak after the first quarter.

Detroit played two quarterbacks that day and both were held under 90 yards passing. Barry Sanders did have 114 yards rushing, but he could only ever do so much for Detroit.

Sep. 13, 1998 – Bengals win a close one in OT

The 1998 season was down years for both teams. The Bengals finished the season at 3-13 starting a total of four different quarterbacks. The Lions finished the 98 seasons 5-11 starting three different quarterbacks. They met in Week 2 after each dropping their first game.

Neil O’Donnell was the starting quarterback during these prime Bungle years. The journeyman had a nice day against the Lions going 25-of-36 for 303 yards and two touchdowns. The Lions quarterback had a little rougher day throwing for 204 yards zero touchdowns and two picks.

Interestingly, each team scored one touchdown per quarter to end regulation tied 28-28. Barry Sanders again was the bright spot for the Lions against the Bengals. He ran for 185 yards and three touchdowns averaging 7.1 yards per carry.

Bengals Running Back Corey Dillion (my first jersey) found the endzone once this game. As stated above Neil had two touchdown passes as well. The real story is the Bengals defense and special teams. Damon Gibson had a 65-yard punt return for a touchdown in the fourth quarter.

Sanders tied it up for the Lions to force overtime. Now in overtime, Scott Mitchell threw the second of two picks on the day. Corey Sawyer took this pick back 58 yards to win the game on a pick-six.

Dec. 6, 2009 – Bengals win with big second quarter performance

This Week 13 matchup was against two very different teams. The Bengals were a playoff team this year with Carson Palmer having a great season. On the other hand, the Lions were struggling. They were just off of their winless 0-16 season and with the first overall pick, they drafted Matthew Stafford.

Stafford as a rookie was thrown to the wolves starting Week 1. The Lions ended the season at 2-14, finally getting a win in Week 3 of the ’09 season against Washington. By Week 13 the Lions were 2-10 and the Bengals were en route to the playoffs at 9-3.

Stafford got to show off his rocket arm with a 54-yard bomb to Megatron for a touchdown to take the lead 7-0.

Detroit probably wished they could’ve stopped the count after the first quarter. However, there were still three quarters to play and the Bengals took full advantage. They scored 17 unanswered in the second quarter going into the locker rooms at half 17-7.

Palmer threw a touchdown pass to Chad Johnson to kick off the second quarter. Shayne Graham kicked a field goal making it 10-7. Then, to end the second quarter Jonathan Fanene picked off the rookie and took it 45 yards to the house to end the first half 17-7.

It was a much more subdued second half with the Bengals kicking two more field goals. Late in the fourth quarter, the Lions scored a touchdown and went for two to get within eight but the two-point conversion attempt failed. The final score was 23-13 as the Bengals cruised past the Lions.

Next. All-Time Leaders in Passing Yards. dark

What do you think? Did I miss any other big moments?