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Cincinnati Bengals vs. Cleveland Browns: 5 Most Memorable Moments in the Rivalry

The Bengals lead the series 51–46.
Joe Burrow, Cincinnati Bengals vs. Cleveland Browns

Joe Burrow is still relatively new to the Cincinnati-Cleveland rivalry but he's already left his mark on it.

In season 10 of "Curb Your Enthusiasm," Larry David creates a coffee shop out of spite to stick it to his enemy and fellow entrepreneur Mocha Joe. This prompts a trend of celebrities creating spite stores.

In many ways, the Cincinnati Bengals are a spite franchise. After being fired as the Cleveland Browns' head coach in 1963, Paul Brown worked with the American Football League (AFL) to launch a competing franchise in Ohio, the Cincinnati Bengals. When the AFL and NFL merged in 1970, the two teams were placed in the same division.

Since then, the franchises have been bitter rivals and have played 97 times with the next meeting in the series taking place on "Monday Night Football." Here are the five most memorable moments in the series.

5. Five go-ahead scores in the fourth quarter

Cleveland Browns 37, Cincinnati Bengals 34

Oct. 25, 2020 - Cincinnati

The Bengals led 20-17 going into the fourth quarter where the teams saved their best for last. Baker Mayfield and Joe Burrow combined for five touchdowns in the period and finished with eight for the whole game. The last came when Mayfield hit Donovan Peoples-Jones with a 24-yard touchdown with 11 seconds remaining for the win.

4. Historic score-fest in Cincinnati

Cincinnati Bengals 58, Cleveland Browns 48

Nov. 28, 2004 – Cincinnati

The second-highest scoring game in NFL history was a good old-fashioned shootout that came down to the final minutes. Cornerback Deltha O'Neal sealed the win when he picked off Kelly Holcomb and ran 31 yards for a touchdown and the final score with less than two minutes remaining.

3. Paul Brown doesn't shake Blanton Collier's hand

Cleveland Browns 30, Cincinnati Bengals 27

Oct. 11, 1970 – Cleveland

After losing the first meeting in the series, Bengals head coach Paul Brown received boos when he did not come out to shake the hand of his former assistant and Cleveland head coach Blanton Collier. Brown explained that he typically did not shake hands with coaches after the game and he and Collier had socialized beforehand. That being said, the coach who had won 12 championships at the pro, college, and high school levels called his win over Cincinnati a month later his greatest victory.

2. "You don't live in Cleveland, you live in Cincinnati!"

Seattle Seahawks 24, Cincinnati Bengals 17

Dec. 10, 1989 – Cincinnati

You’re probably wondering how a game that doesn’t involve one of the teams in this rivalry ends up on this list. Here’s how. During a game against the Seahawks, Bengals fans were throwing snowballs and other objects onto the field. Cincinnati head coach Sam Wyche ran to the public address system and said: "Will the next person that sees anybody throw anything onto this field, point them out, and get them out of here. You don't live in Cleveland, you live in Cincinnati!" The crowd roared with approval and stopped throwing things.

1. The rivalry resumes

Cincinnati Bengals 18, Cleveland Browns 17

Oct. 10, 1999 – Cleveland

After the Browns moved to Baltimore and become the Ravens following the 1995 season, Cleveland went without an NFL franchise for three years. When the new Browns launched in 1999, the rivalry picked up again with a heck of a game. Bengals quarterback Akili Smith hit Carl Pickens with a two-yard touchdown pass with five seconds remaining for the one-point victory.