No matter the records or no matter how big or small the game is, Cincinnati Bengals fans always want to beat the Baltimore Ravens. I want to beat every team, but with the Ravens, Steelers, and Browns, there is a sports hatred there.
Early in the season, I wasn’t scared of the Ravens, getting some luck in back-to-back wins against the Chiefs and Lions. But, after that thrashing they put on the Chargers last week, the Ravens might be for real.
Hopefully, they won’t stifle Burrow, Chase, Mixon, but that defense looks scary. Let’s hope that Burrow can snap this five-game losing streak that Cincinnati has against the purple squad.
To get into the spirit of the rivalry, I take a look at three big moments in the Bengals/Ravens rivalry.
Sept. 10, 2007 – Chad Johnson has iconic TD celebration
When you look at the 2007 Bengals schedule this game doesn’t really seem to stick out for any reason. It was Week 1 of the 2007 season and a home opener for the Bengals. All-in-all it was a lackluster year for the Bengals.
They finished the season 7-9 missing the playoffs. Carson Palmer did throw for over 4,000 yards and Chad Johnson had one of the best seasons of his career with 1,440 yards receiving and eight touchdowns. He also had one of the most iconic touchdown celebrations ever seen.
The touchdown celebration has been somewhat of a hot topic as of late. One season any pre-meditated celebrations were banned then they lifted the ban next season, now this new taunting rule is causing confusion among players and fans as it seems to be discretionary and holding up play.
But, for a long time in the NFL touchdown celebrations were a staple and everyone loved them. Planned or spontaneous, everyone had fun with them. Two players in my life truly stick out when the term touchdown celebration is uttered and those are T.O. and Chad Johnson (Ochocinco).
On Sept. 10, 2007, the first touchdown of the game and the Bengals’ 2007 season, Johnson caught a pass from Palmer for a 39-yard score. Johnson then headed to his bench pulled out a giant yellow jacket and put it on, turned around, and on the camera his jacket read “Future H.O.F 20??”
It was a perfect Chad Johnson moment. He was always unapologetically himself and never short of confidence. This celebration truly was as Chad Johnson as you could get. Who knows if he will ever get into the Hall of Fame but if there was a Hall of Fame for celebrations, he’d be first-ballot.
Nov., 10, 2013 – Andy Dalton Hail Mary to A.J. Green sends the game into OT
2013 was a good year for Cincinnati. They won the AFC North and finished third in the AFC. The rest of the division was uncharacteristically bad, except for the Browns, because they were bad for a long time. Sorry, Cleveland — At least things have been looking up!
In Week 10, the Bengals had a two-game lead in the division. The Ravens were struggling at 3-5 while the Bengals were sitting atop the division at 6-3. The Bengals were humming and feeling like they could beat anyone.
Well, they fell flat in the first half, going down 17-0 at the half. The Bengals made it 17-3 going into the fourth quarter when Giovanni Bernard got an18-yard touchdown pass from Dalton.
With two seconds left, the Bengals were down 17-10. The Bengals found themselves on a 4thand 15 at the Bengals own 49. The ball was hiked, Dalton waited, then heaved it downfield toward a sea of white and purple. The ball got tipped once, then tipped again by a Ravens defender and into the hands of A.J. Green who was all alone in the end zone.
The Bengals, unfortunately, lost in OT 20-17, but this highlight can still be found on highlight reels of best Bengals plays/moments.
Dec. 31, 2017 – Andy Dalton keeps Ravens out of the playoffs
By Week 17 of the 2017 season, the Bengals were out of playoff contention. The Ravens, on the other hand, needed to win against the Bengals and they’d be in the playoffs. The Bills needed to win and have the Ravens lose in order to make the playoffs and end the longest streak of seasons with no playoff appearances.
The Bengals took a 17-3 lead deep into the second quarter, but at the end of the first half, Joe Flacco threw a touchdown pass to Chris Moore making it 17-10 at the half. Almost five minutes into the third quarter Darqueze Dennard took an interception 89 yards to the house to make it 24-10.
However, the Ravens went on a 17-0 run deep into the fourth quarter with one touchdown on the ground, one in the air, and a field goal. With 53 seconds remaining in the game, the Bengals found themselves on a 4th and 12 from the Ravens 49.
This was the game. If the Bengals convert, they keep their drive alive. If the Ravens stop the Bengals here, they will punch their ticket to the postseason. Dalton and Tyler Boyd had other plans.
As Boyd lined up in the slot, he found a hole between three defenders and Dalton hit Boyd perfectly for the wide receiver to find the endzone and end the Ravens’ postseason dreams. Not only that but Dalton and Boyd helped the Bills advance to the playoff for the first time since 1999.
The Bills kicker Stephen Hauschka captured the Bills players’ reaction to the Boyd Touchdown. What an awesome moment.
What do you think? Did I miss any moments?