Bengals Throwback Thursday: Looking back at every win vs 49ers
By Eric Bruns
The Cincinnati Bengals and San Francisco 49ers do not have a lengthy history, but two of their matchups came in the Super Bowl. They have played 16 times and the stripes are an atrocious 4-12 against the 49ers.
As I said before, two of the 12 losses came in the Super Bowl, both times were in the ’80s. Both losses also came to Joe Montana, once in 1982 and once again in 1989. So, today I am going to look at the only four wins the Bengals have in this series.
Sep. 29, 1974 – Bengals Win First Meeting
In 1974 the Bengals and 49ers were on the same trajectory though the Bengals at least had their franchise quarterback in Ken Anderson. The 49ers were struggling to find their franchise signal-caller after eight seasons with John Brodie at the helm.
After the 49ers’ winning seasons from 70-72, they took a large step back in 1973. The Bengals, on the other hand, were trending up going into the ’74 season after finishing first in the Central division in ’73 for the second time.
The 49ers started out well in 1974 winning their first two games. The Bengals started 1-1 losing a close one to the Chargers. The expectations were that this game could go either way. I don’t think anyone could predict the Bengals would walk away with a win on this Sunday.
The 49ers finally struck first in the second quarter with a field goal but that was all she wrote for the 49ers offense on this day. Joe Reed only threw for 68 yards and two interceptions on the day. Wilbur had more yards on the ground for the 49ers with 83 yards rushing.
The Bengals ended the game with three consecutive touchdowns, one passing and two rushing. Ken Anderson accounted for two of the touchdowns, throwing for 147 yards and running for another 26 yards. The Bengals ended the day with 200+ rushing yards on the day and 190 yards in the air. The 49ers never stood a chance on this September day.
Dec. 5, 1999 – Bengals Put Up 44 Against the 49ers
Corey Dillon and Jeff Blake came out swinging in this week 13 match-up. The Bengals had not had their bye week yet as they were sitting at 2-10, and the 49ers were sitting at 2-8. Neither team was doing well at the end of the century.
Corey Dillon (The first jersey I ever owned) scored first with a rushing touchdown. Add on a Field Goal and the Bengals shut out the 49ers in the first quarter. Jeff Blake lit up the second quarter with two touchdown passes, one for 58 yards. The 49ers finally got on the board with a Charlie Garner touchdown run. Add in a field goal apiece to make it 27-10 at the half.
Should we call this game the Jeff Bowl? Battle of the Jeffs?
Jeff Garcia woke up in the second half throwing for three total touchdowns in the second half. However, it was too little too late for the 49ers as Jeff Blake threw two more scores for a total of four touchdowns on the night.
The final score came out to 44-30 as both teams decided defense was not needed today. This might explain why both teams were so bad in 1999. That and their starting quarterbacks were Blake and Garcia. Jeff Garcia was able to pack on the garbage time yards throwing for 437 yards three scores and an interception.
Jeff Blake also had a day throwing for over 300 yards and four touchdowns. Corey Dillon ran all over the 49ers for 133 yards and two total scores. Also, TO and Jerry Rice both had over 140 yards receiving. Basically, anyone that played on offense for either team had a good day in the Jungle.
Dec. 14, 2003 – Bengals win a Shootout in Cincy
Four years later the Bengals and Niners met again to a similar result except this game was much closer, still no defense though.
One year before Cincy drafted Carson Palmer, the Bengals were in their third season with Jon Kitna. After Boomer, it was a slew of disappointments and placeholders until they drafted Palmer. Kitna happened to be their placeholder after the Akili debacle.
Going into week 15 the Bengals actually had a winning record at 7-6. The 49ers were just below .500 at 6-7. The 49ers were still staying strong with Jeff Garcia at quarterback, while as stated before the Bengals were in year three of the Kitna era. Can it be considered an era if it is three years?
Anyway, the first half of this game actually showed a little defense with a 10-yard fumble return for a touchdown. Chad Johnson and Terrell Owens both had receiving touchdowns. I can’t imagine how all that ego was able to fit into the stadium.
Egos aside, both quarterbacks had two touchdowns apiece in the first half. At the end of the second quarter, the score was close at 21-17 Bengals. The third quarter seemed to be the difference-maker in this one. The Bengals shut out the 49ers and put up ten points in the process. Going into the fourth the score was 31-17.
The fourth quarter was an all-running affair as San Fran ran in three touchdowns, and the Bengals ran one in themselves. Add in another field goal for Cincy and the final score was 41-38. The 49ers kept it close but Rudi Johnson’s rushing score with under three minutes left put the game too far out of reach.
Dec. 20, 2015 – Bengals’ Last Victory Over the 49ers
This was the battle of the backups as previously in the season Blaine Gabbert got the start when the Niners benched Colin Kaepernick due to poor play. Also, in the Bengals’ prior game Cincy lost Andy Dalton to a broken thumb so A.J. McCarron got the start versus San Francsico.
The game was rather uneventful. The 49ers were not doing well and the Bengals were having a banner year for Cincinnati so it was expected that the Bengals would win, but we didn’t know how McCarron would do.
McCarron played well throwing for almost 200 yards and one touchdown in his NFL debut. Jeremy Hill had two rushing touchdowns and all three Ttouchdowns came in the second quarter. Add a Cincy field goal and two 49ers touchdowns making the final score 24-14.
This was the last victory the Bengals had against the 49ers. Clearly, December is their month to play the 49ers, so here’s to hoping the Bengals can repeat their December success against San Francisco.
Did I miss any great moments?