For this Throwback Thursday we take a look at three big moments between the Cincinnati Bengals and the Las Vegas Raiders, a series that goes all the way back to 1968 when both teams played in the AFL.
The Raiders own this series 21-11. The most wins the Bengals have had in a row came recently from 2012-2018. The Raiders do have the most recent win, winning in 2019. Below are three big moments from when the Bengals were able to beat the Raiders.
Oct. 2, 1988 – Bengals thrash the black and silver
1988 wasn’t a great year for the LA-based Raiders. After the Stabler and Plunkett years, the Raiders had a tough time finding their franchise quarterback until Rich Gannon came along in 1999. Those were some struggling years for the Raiders. Beginning in 1986 the Raiders only had four winning seasons until the year 2000.
The Bengals, on the other hand, were red hot. I don’t have to tell any Bengals fan that this was the season they made their second trip to the Super Bowl, only to lose to Montana and the 49ers for a second time. When these teams met in Week 5 of the ’88 season, the Bengals were undefeated.
The Bengals offense was a big reason this team was so successful. Before Ickey Woods was shuffling for cold cuts, he was shuffling in endzones so it is no surprise that the Bengals dominated the hapless Raiders offensively.
The Raiders didn’t score until midway through the second quarter when Tim Brown caught a 65-yard touchdown pass. Near the end of the first half Boomer Esiason threw his second touchdown of the day making it 24-7 at halftime.
The second half was more of the same. Two more rushing scores in the third quarter and a third touchdown pass for Esiason to start the fourth quarter making it 45-7. It wasn’t until garbage time the Raiders scored a couple of touchdowns. Jay Schroeder ran for one and threw for a second one. The final score was 45-21 but really most of the Raiders’ points were scored in garbage time. A true thrashing.
Sept.13, 1992 – Bengals win a close one in OT
Four years later it was more of the same for the Raiders. In Week 2, they were already 0-1. They finished this season 7-9 again wishing they could find their answer at quarterback. The Bengals were in a different situation from four years prior.
Since their Super Bowl appearance in 1989 (1988 season) the Bengals had begun to decline. 1991 was the worst of it as they went 3-13 and were looking to bounce back after that abysmal season. Things started off promising going 2-0 after beating the Raiders in this matchup.
However, after this promising start, the Bengals finished the 1992 season 5-11 missing the playoffs for the second year in a row. Not only did the Bengals pull out a close one against LA, but they did it against two notable HOFers.
The Raiders and Bengals traded blows during regulation. Tim Brown and Marcus Allen both found the end zone during regulation for the Raiders. The Bengals had two touchdowns on the ground and one in the air from Esiason.
Schroeder threw two touchdowns including the one to Brown. At the end of regulation, the score was knotted at 21. Jim Breach made a field goal one minute into overtime for the Bengals ending the game 24-21. No dramatics in overtime, just a quick Bengals victory.
Nov. 5, 2012 – Bengals win rematch vs. Carson Palmer
At the end of the Bengals’ 4-12 2010 season, Carson Palmer had had enough in Cincy and requested a trade. Mike Brown being Mike Brown refused to trade Palmer so Palmer retired and in October after the Raiders lost their starter Jason Campbell, they called Palmer and the Bengals finally granted his wish and traded him. If you want an expansive history on Palmer’s retirement check it out here.
So, this 2012 meeting became a homecoming for Palmer. Unfortunately the game wasn’t as exciting as the drama that took place in 2011 surrounding Palmer and the Bengals ownership. The actual game was a snooze fest that was over before it began.
Palmer didn’t find success with the Raiders, they ended up going 4-12 and Palmer wound up with the Cardinals the following season. The Bengals on the other hand were in the prime Andy Dalton years. They made the postseason for the first five seasons with Dalton as the starter.
The Bengals came out swinging and scored two touchdowns in the first quarter to take a 14-0 lead. A second touchdown pass to Sanu and a field goal made it 24-0 at half. The Raiders came out of half time to stiffle the Bengals and score ten points making it 24-10.
However, the fourth quarter was again all Cincinnati. Another touchdown and another field goal would cap off an easy Sunday for the Bengals finishing the day 34-10. In Palmer’s homecoming he only threw for 146 yards one touchdown and one interception while getting sacked four times.
What do you think? Did I miss any other big moments?