CLEVELAND, Ohio - On October 14, the Bengals derailed the upstart Cleveland Browns at Paul Brown Stadium in the seasons first "The Battle of Ohio" game.
The second "The Battle of Ohio" game resumes on Sunday when the Cincinnati Bengals travel to Cleveland looking to sweep the season series against the Browns.
The first time around the Bengals rode the Corey Dillon train for the tune of 141 yards as the Bengals dominated the second half of the game, winning 24-14.
Much has transpired since that afternoon in Cincinnati. The Bengals have won once and sport a 4-5 record, while the Browns have gone 2-2 since the loss to the Bengals and come into the battle against the Bengals with a 5-4 record.
Statistically the Bengals look to have the better of this upcoming battle.
The Bengals rank 23rd in the NFL averaging 299.9 yards per game offensively, the Browns rank 31st in the NFL averaging 245.0 yards per game.
Cincinnati yields an average of 312.0 yards per game, good for 13th in the NFL, while the Browns give up 329.1 yards per game, ranking 20th in the league.
The big-play, opportunistic defense the Browns play is the major factor in the success of this team. The Browns come into the game against the Bengals highly ranked in many important statistical categories.
The Browns rank first in the AFC, second in the NFL in allowing a 30.4 redzone touchdown percentage (23 possessions/7 touchdowns), second in the AFC, fourth in the NFL in average yards allowed on first down (4.47 yards per play), sixth in the AFC, ninth in the NFL with 26 sacks and are second in the league in turnover differential with a +12 turnover ratio.
Although ranked last in the NFL in total offense the Browns scoring average stands at 19.0 points per game compared to 15.55 for the Bengals. Defensively the Browns hold the opposition to 16.67 points per game compared to 20.67 for the Bengals.
Cleveland has yielded 11 defensive touchdowns, tied for second in the NFL. This defense will give up yardage but has an uncanny knack of defending its goal line.
Cincinnati hasn't played well away from Paul Brown Stadium this season, going 1-3 while being held to 14 or fewer points in each defeat.
The Browns come into the encounter 3-2 at home, averaging 17.2 points per game and yielding 15.6 points per game.
The numbers, the stats, common sense thoughts rarely come into play in this series. There have been upsets, come from behind victories, and wins good for bragging rights.
Lately, rarely has a game between these two meant so much. A Cincinnati victory ensures those bragging rights for a another season as well as knowing that they most likely shattered the playoff aspirations of the Browns.
A Browns win ensures that the show goes on for another week as the legend of Butch Davis will grow.
Go figure, this series is tied, 28-28.