Top 5 Bengals moments at Paul Brown Stadium

Eric Bruns
Cincinnati Bengals (Photo by Silas Walker/Getty Images)
Cincinnati Bengals (Photo by Silas Walker/Getty Images) /
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Paul Brown Stadium is no more. The former name of the Cincinnati Bengals’ stadium recently changed to Paycor Stadium. Let’s pay our respects to the original Paul Brown Stadium and list the top five moments. 

Paul Brown Stadium played host to several memorable moments during its 22-year life. Some of these moments were not even with our guys in orange and black.

However, this article is focusing on five specific memorable moments in the history of Paul Brown History. Going in chronological order, here are five of the most memorable Cincinnati Bengals moments at Paul Brown Stadium.

All game stats from ESPN

Corey Dillon Sets an NFL Record (Oct. 22, 2000)

It didn’t take long for history to be made at the newly constructed Paul Brown Stadium even though it took nearly two months for Cincy to get their first win in the new stadium. They started the 2000 season 0-6, desperate for a win, especially in their new home.

Akili Smith was in his second year as a starter and it was clear he was not the answer at quarterback. The Broncos’ run defense clearly had issues this season as they ultimately allowed 407 total rushing yards.

The first rushing touchdown didn’t even come from Corey Dillon. Peter Warrick broke off a 77-yard run for a touchdown in the first half. However, Cincy still trailed Denver at halftime 14-10.

During the third quarter, the good guys scored another touchdown run, this time by Brandon Bennett. Then in the fourth quarter, Corey Dillon had two monstrous runs, both for touchdowns.

These two runs equaled 106 yards and two touchdowns. During the game, he had another five runs for 20+ yards. With Dillon’s final touchdown run going for 41 yards, he eclipsed Walter Payton’s previous record of 275 rushing yards in a game.

Dillon ended the game with a total of 278 yards. The Bengals only had 14 net passing yards when factoring in sack yards. These seem like college football numbers rather than professional stats. Unfortunately, the record only stood for three years because in 2003 Jamaal Adams ran for 295 yards.

Bengals Beat Undefeated Chiefs (Nov. 16, 2003)

Everyone knows about Joe Namath guaranteeing a Super Bowl victory in Super Bowl III but do you remember when Chad Ochocinco guaranteed a victory over the undefeated Chiefs?

In 2003 Cincy was struggling to get off the ground. They started the season 1-4. However, they bounced back going 4-5 into Week 11. On the other hand, the Chiefs were not struggling. They looked like a team that could win the Super Bowl.

Of course, everyone figured the Chiefs would steamroll Cincinnati in their own house but Ochocinco didn’t believe it. He guaranteed a victory and even warned Marvin Lewis, according to ESPN back in 2003.

Of course, everyone thought it was just Johnson running his mouth, but the rest of the guys in black and orange believed they could win too. A big reason is thanks to the defensive efforts of the Bengals.

They held the Chiefs’ explosive offense and special teams to just six points in the first three quarters. In the fourth quarter, both teams came alive but it was too little too late for the Chiefs. Trent Green had the last strike, but they weren’t able to score again.

The Chiefs lost 24-19. Could Chad Johnson be the one to thank for giving his team the belief they could win?

The Flip-Six (Dec. 24, 2011)

Some players are remembered for their entire careers. Some can pack an entire highlight reel and then some. There are other players who are remembered for a single moment in time. Their name becomes synonymous with a play.

That’s exactly what happened on Christmas Eve in 2011 at Paul Brown Stadium when the Bengals were hosting the Cardinals.

By the end of the third quarter, it was 23-0 and everyone was still talking about Jerome Simpson’s flip. Simpson ran a shallow cross and Andy Dalton hit him on the run. Simpson ran untouched down the sideline and then capped it off by front flipping over one defender into the endzone.

This highlight stayed No. 1 on ESPN’s Top Ten for a year before it was eventually retired after one year at the top. It’s pretty hard to beat that play, one of the most athletic plays in maybe all of the NFL.

Bengals upset Broncos on Monday Night Football (Dec. 22, 2014)

Everyone knows the woes of Cincy’s primetime performances. The Dalton-led teams in the Lewis era were dismal in primetime. No matter how good the team was it always felt like the Bengals were going to lose under the bright lights, no matter who the opponent was.

The Broncos were in the third year with Peyton Manning. They were also one year removed from their Super Bowl appearance where the Legion of Boom trounced Manning and Company. They were still one of the best teams in the league in 2014.

Our guys were no slouch, as their defense was playing lights out and the offense was clicking. It felt like this was a team that could finally win a playoff game, then the stripes went and gave the city of Cincinnati hope.

It was late in the season, Week 16 specifically, the last Monday night game of the season. No one was betting on the Bengals to actually beat the red hot Broncos on Monday Night Football, even if it is at Paul Brown Stadium.

The game did not start on the right foot for the good guys as Aqib Talib took an interception 33 yards to the house but Jeremy Hill answered with an 85-yard touchdown run making it 7-7 at the end of the first quarter.

However, the second quarter was all Cincy as they piled on 17 pints to make it 20-7 at halftime. People were starting to believe but most Bengals fans knew the other shoe was going to drop… then the shoe did indeed drop.

In the third quarter, Manning and Co. found their footing and posted three touchdowns. However, Mike Nugent hit a field goal to take the lead back then Dre Kirkpatrick picked off Manning and took it to the house for a 37-28 lead.

To seal the game Kirkpatrick picked Manning off one more time, giving Manning four interceptions on the night. It was a night Bengals fans would never forget. Weirdly, both teams lost to the Colts in the playoffs that year.

Bengals first playoff win in 31 Years – (Jan. 15, 2022)

No one expected the Bengals to do what they did last year, so why would anyone think they’d host a playoff game? They showed last year they have the moxie to play with any team in the league and now they’ll have the biggest target on their back.

Cincinnati finally got to see what Joe Burrow could really do being back to 100% and no longer a rookie. This time around he has Ja’Marr Chase who has also exceeded every expectation laid on him. Burrow proved he’s not only a starter but a franchise changer.

Sometimes it feels like there really are football Gods. Fans sometimes wonder what certain fan bases did to those football Gods to anger them. Cincy fans wondered for 31 years what they did to deserve such misery, and if it would ever end.

It’s not all thanks to Burrow, it’s a team effort and their defense was much improved. But, having a leader who believes they’re a winner can inspire a team to win and eventually change the culture.

At the end of the season, thanks to a coaching decision by the Los Angeles Chargers, the Bengals got to host the Las Vegas Raiders on Wild Card weekend. The game, unfortunately, became mired in controversy thanks to a blown whistle by the refs.

Even with this controversy the Bengals still proved they should’ve won that game but eventually reached the Super Bowl. The Raiders never stopped fighting even taking the game to a final drive.

Derek Carr drove the Raiders down into the red zone. Every Bengals fan asking the Football Gods why they always have to be put into cardiac arrest. With 17 seconds on the clock at a 4th and 9, the game came down to this last play.

Germaine Pratt became a Cincinnati hero as he jumps the route and picked off Carr to seal the victory for Cincy. For the first time in 31 years the Bengals had won a playoff game, and to do it at home was the icing on the cake.

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What do you think? Did I miss any moments that should’ve been on this list?

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