BEREA (92.3 The Fan)- Referred to as ‘The Battle of Ohio’ when the Browns and Bengals get together, calling Sunday’s game a ‘Battle’ might not due the word justice.
Both teams are on the brink of seeing their season completely unravel and spiral out of control.
Here are a few fun facts about the 88th installment of the ‘Battle of Ohio’ set to take place at FirstEnergy Stadium.
– The Bengals, who have won the last 5 meetings, lead the all-time series between the 2 teams 48-39, including a 12-24 mark (which is the best for the Browns against AFC North foes since returning in 1999), but the Browns are 24-19 all-time at home.
– Cincinnati’s last 6 wins in the series have come by an average margin of victory of 22.1 points.
– Hue Jackson is 1-18 since taking over head coach of the Browns, who are in the midst of a massive rebuild and youth movement that has seen 47 of the 53 players on the active roster added since 2016 including 38 with 2 or fewer years of experience while Marvin Lewis is in season 15 with the Bengals where he is 118-106-3 overall.
– This is the 10th time the Browns have started 0-3 and the second straight year, sixth time since 2008 and eighth time since they returned in 1999 while the Bengals are winless through 3 weeks for a 14th time and the third time under Marvin Lewis but it isn’t the first time that the futility of both franchises were on full display.
– Sunday’s game will mark the 13th time in 69 meetings of the ‘Battle of Ohio’ to take place in Week 4 or later that at least one of the teams has been winless. It is the third time they have both been winless (1999 Week 5 and 2008 Week 4).
– Four times when the Browns have been 0-3 or worse, the Bengals have been their first win — 1975 in Week 10 (0-9 start), 2008 Week 4 (0-3), 2010 Week 4 (0-3 which also started a 10-game Bengals losing streak) and 2012 Week 6 (0-5). All but the 2008 win came in Cleveland. Conversely, 3 times when the Bengals have been 0-3 or worse, the Browns have been their first win — 1991 Week 10 (0-8 start); 1999 Week 5 (0-4); 2003 Week 4 (0-3 and also was Lewis’ first win as Bengals head coach).
– Since the AFC North was formed in 2002 the Browns and Bengals have combined to finish in last place in 14 of the 15 seasons. The Browns have finished in last place 12 times – including 6 straight and 8 of the last 9 years – while the Bengals have finished last just twice (2002 and 2010).
– The Browns, who have trailed by at least 20 points in 4 of the previous 5 meetings between the teams, will field their sixth different quarterback against Cincinnati in the last 6 games against them when DeShone Kizer takes the field. The previous 5: Johnny Manziel, Austin Davis, Cody Kessler, Kevin Hogan and Robert Griffin III.
The good news is that when the 2 intrastate and AFC North rivals meet on the shores of Lake Erie and, barring a rare tie, one of them is guaranteed to get in the win column and out of the division basement Sunday afternoon.
(© Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)