The Cincinnati Bengals have consistently displayed their prowess on the football field, impressing fans and igniting tense rivalries with other NFL teams.
These rivalries have only served to heighten the excitement and anticipation for each matchup, as teams battle for dominance, bragging rights, and sometimes even a bit of revenge.
In this guide, we’ll take a closer look at some of the Bengals’ iconic rivals, examining the reasons behind each and what makes these face-offs such a treat for football enthusiasts to watch.
One of the Bengals’ most significant rivalries is with their in-state neighbors, the Cleveland Browns, often referred to as the “Battle for Ohio.”
These two teams have a long-standing history of fierce competition, with fans from both sides passionately cheering on their favorite squad.
These games often take on an extra level of intensity due to the geographical proximity and shared history between the two clubs.
Apart from the Browns, the Bengals have also had fierce rivalries with other NFL teams, such as the Pittsburgh Steelers and Baltimore Ravens.
These matchups have produced memorable moments and intense showdowns over the years, adding to the colorful history of the Cincinnati Bengals and the NFL as a whole.
Stay tuned as we delve deeper into the Bengals’ most noteworthy rivalries, exploring their reasons and what makes them so captivating to follow.
AFC North Rivals
The Cincinnati Bengals have long-standing rivalries with their fellow AFC North teams.
Let’s take a closer look at each of these rivalries and how they have evolved over time.
The rivalry between the Cincinnati Bengals and the Pittsburgh Steelers is one of the most intense in the NFL. The two teams have faced off many times, resulting in a heated competition full of unforgettable moments.
The Steelers generally have had the upper hand in this rivalry, but the Bengals have put up a strong fight and achieved some notable victories over the years.
The Steelers’ physical play style often leads to hard-fought battles on the field, with both teams showing grit and determination. Fans from both sides passionately support their teams, making this rivalry even more exciting to watch.
Another significant rival for the Cincinnati Bengals is the Baltimore Ravens. These teams have had many memorable matchups since the Ravens’ establishment in 1996.
The Bengals and Ravens have developed a rivalry characterized by close games, tight scores, and thrilling finishes.
Though the Ravens have experienced more playoff success than the Bengals, the head-to-head record between these two teams is very competitive, and Cincinnati has managed to earn some impressive wins over Baltimore.
The rivalry continues to be captivating, with both teams striving to establish AFC North dominance.
The Cincinnati Bengals’ rivalry with the Cleveland Browns is often referred to as the “Battle of Ohio.”
Given the proximity of the two cities, this rivalry has developed into a personal and fiercely contested clash. Fans from both sides passionately debate which team is truly “Ohio’s Team.”
The head-to-head record between the Bengals and the Browns is fairly even, with both teams experiencing periods of success and difficulty.
This rivalry serves as a showcase for the state of Ohio, illustrating the passion and talent of its football teams.
The AFC North is a highly competitive division, and the Cincinnati Bengals’ rivalries with the Pittsburgh Steelers, Baltimore Ravens, and Cleveland Browns continue to inspire thrilling and memorable games for fans to enjoy.
Other AFC Rivals
The Cincinnati Bengals and Indianapolis Colts have had their fair share of competition over the years.
While not as intense as some of the Bengals’ division rivalries, this matchup brings a level of excitement whenever these two teams face off. Bengals fans tend to see the Colts as a formidable opponent, especially considering Indianapolis’ typically strong quarterback play.
The games are often closely contested, and fans appreciate the opportunity to watch the Bengals compete against a consistently solid team in the AFC.
New England Patriots
Another notable, albeit less intense, rival for the Cincinnati Bengals are the New England Patriots. The Patriots have been a dominant force in the NFL for the better part of two decades, so it’s natural for teams in the AFC to view them as a measuring stick.
Bengals fans have been keen on seeing how their team stacks up against one of the league’s best when they face the Patriots. While the rivalry between these two teams may not be as fierce as other matchups, it still provides an intriguing contest for loyal Bengals followers who enjoy watching their team take on high-caliber opponents.
Notable Past Rivals
The Cincinnati Bengals had a notable rivalry with the Houston Oilers, who are now known as the Tennessee Titans.
The rivalry dates back to the 1970s and 1980s AFC Central division, and it was intense due to the frequent playoff implication games between the two teams.
Key instances in this rivalry include the Bengals defeating the Oilers to secure a trip to their first-ever Super Bowl in the 1981 AFC Championship game.
- First meeting: Oct 12, 1968; Bengals 14, Oilers 10
- Last meeting: Dec 10, 1995; Oilers 13, Bengals 24
Another past rival of the Cincinnati Bengals is the Buffalo Bills. The Bengals-Bills rivalry was sparked in the 1980s, as both teams were among the elite of the AFC.
In particular, the two teams met in a thrilling 1988 playoff game, which saw the Bengals narrowly defeat the Bills 21-10, sending them to their second Super Bowl appearance.
- First meeting: Sep 19, 1968; Bills 14, Bengals 24
- Last meeting: Oct 3, 2021; Bengals 21, Bills 25
The Cincinnati Bengals have been part of some intense rivalries over the years, mainly within their division, the AFC North. With teams like the Cleveland Browns and the Pittsburgh Steelers being their main rivals, Bengals fans are no strangers to animosity.
However, a new and exciting rivalry has recently begun brewing – with none other than the Kansas City Chiefs.
This out-of-division rivalry has seen both teams firing shots at each other, creating a tense atmosphere and heightening the stakes each time they meet on the field. Public exchanges between players and coaches have fueled this competitive fire, and it shows no signs of cooling down anytime soon.
In fact, some fans argue that this rivalry has escalated to a level beyond that of a typical divisional contest.
What makes this budding rivalry with the Chiefs particularly interesting is how it showcases the Bengals’ recent resurgence as a competitive team in the NFL.
Under the leadership of young stars like Joe Burrow and Ja’Marr Chase, the Bengals have begun to assert themselves as a real threat within the league.
It’s exciting to see a rivalry like this develop, as it brings a fresh and invigorating dynamic to the NFL landscape.
As the two teams continue to cross paths and challenge each other for dominance, fans can look forward to thrilling matchups and memorable moments.
Embracing a friendly tone, we can’t help but appreciate these newfound rivalries, as they showcase what makes NFL football so engaging and entertaining.
James is a big time NBA Golden State follower, who makes sure to catch games when he's in the area. He likes to follow International Soccer, with an interest in small town soccer club, Blackburn Rovers located in the North on the UK.