In 60 days the Broncos will kick off the 2012 regular season when the Pittsburgh Steelers visit Denver on Sunday Night Football. To help Bronco Country get through the offseason, I am continuing to look back at some past games against opponents the Broncos will face in 2012. After appearing on Sunday Night Football in Week 8 against the New Orleans Saints, the Broncos will once again pack their suitcases. The fourth road trip of the season will take the Broncos to Cincinnati to face the Bengals. The Broncos have played in Cincinnati a total of twelve times and have won six of those contests. Let’s hope after the 2012 game in Cincinnati the Broncos will have a winning record when it comes to playing the Bengals on the road. Please continue reading for a brief summary of the last five games the Broncos have played in Cincinnati.
September 13, 2009: Trailing the Bengals 7-6 with 28 seconds to go, Bronco quarterback Kyle Orton threw a deep pass down the left side of the field. The pass was tipped and landed in the arms of Brandon Stokley who scurried 87-yards into the end zone making the score 12-6. Stokley ran parallel with the end zone for six seconds before crossing the goal line in an effort to take more time off the clock. To go up by seven points, the Broncos attempted a two point conversion but were unsuccessful. Cincinnati did get the ball back and attempted a deep pass, hoping for a miracle of their own, but the pass was intercepted by Tony Scheffler, preserving the 12-6 victory, which was Josh McDaniel’s first victory as a head coach. Like I say many times on the golf course, I would rather be lucky than good; that statement is so true in this case. The victory would be the first victory of six consecutive wins for the 2009 Broncos.
October 25, 2004: The Broncos seventh game of the 2004 season, their first and only appearance on Monday Night Football for the year, resulted in their second loss of the season. The Bengals struck first mid-way through the first quarter when Carson Palmer connected with Chad Ochocinco for a 50-yard touchdown strike. The long pass play no doubt energized the Bengal crowd even more than they already were considering it had been thirteen years since their team had played on Monday Night Football. The Broncos were never able to establish any momentum and managed to only score a total of ten points the entire game. Rod Smith caught a Jake Plummer pass in the second quarter for the Broncos lone touchdown of the evening. Plummer ended the evening with twenty three completions for 221 yards and two interceptions. Due to the interceptions, Plummer’s Monday night rating was a measly 60.5. Despite the 23-10 loss in Cincinnati, the Broncos went on to finish the season with a 10-6 record, which earned them a wild card playoff spot.
September 7, 2003: Jake Plummer’s inaugural game as a Denver Bronco should be forgotten by him and all Bronco fans, at least regarding his statistics. Plummer completed only twelve of his twenty five pass attempts, had no touchdown passes, and three interceptions. The dismal performance resulted in a quarterback rating of 21.7, not exactly what Bronco fans were expecting when Plummer signed with the Broncos prior to the 2003 season. The silver lining of the 2003 season opener came in the form of the second year running back in the number twenty six jersey – Clinton Portis. Portis rushed twenty-four times for 120 yards and two touchdowns. The touchdown runs, which were runs of two and eight yards, all occurred in the second quarter, and gave the Broncos a commanding 20-3 halftime lead. The Broncos defense got into the opening day route when Ian Gold got between a Jon Kitna to Corey Dillon toss and returned it twelve yards for a touchdown. After Elam’s extra point, the Broncos took a 30-3 lead into the fourth quarter. With just under twelve minutes remaining in the game, Kitna connected with Chad Ochocinco for a 41-yard touchdown pass for the Bengals first and only touchdown of the game. The 30-10 opening day victory was the first of four consecutive victories in a season that ended with a 10-6 record and a playoff appearance as a wild card.
October 22, 2000: The Broncos were unable to protect their 14-10 halftime lead and fell to the Bengals 31-21. The victory was Cincinnati’s first victory of the year, while the Broncos fell to an overall record of 4-4. Bengal running back Corey Dillon shredded the Broncos defense by rushing twenty-two times for 278 yards and two touchdowns (both touchdown runs occurred in the fourth quarter and accounted for 106 of his rushing yards). The rushing effort by Dillon, which earned him AFC offensive player of the week, at the time was good enough to set a new NFL record for rushing yards in a single game. Since then, the record has been broken by three running backs – Jerome Harrison, Jamal Lewis, and Adrian Peterson. The Broncos defense allowed a total of 407 rushing yards on the afternoon, 77 of which were earned on one play in the second quarter when Bengal running back Peter Warrick scored a touchdown, bringing the Bengals to within four points of the Broncos. Thinking back on this game, the bright side to this disastrous performance was when the game ended and the Broncos could put this one behind them. As a fan, it is never a good feeling when an individual or team gets in the record books against your team.
November 1, 1998: Entering the fourth quarter of this mid-season contest, the Broncos held a 13-12 lead. Behind two fourth quarter touchdown runs by Terrell Davis and another touchdown through the air via John Elway to Ed McAffrey, the Broncos earned their eighth victory of the season by beating the Bengals 33-26. Davis ended the game with 149 yards rushing on 27 attempts and an average of 5.5 yards per carry. The Broncos would go on to win the next five games, improving their record to 13-0. Despite a two game losing streak toward the end of the season, the Broncos won their last game of the season and entered the playoffs on a winning note. The season ended with a 34-19 victory over the Atlanta Falcons in Super Bowl XXXIII.
Topics: Brandon Stokley, Carson Palmer, Chad Ochocinco, Cincinnati Bengals, Clinton Portis, Corey Dillon, Denver Broncos, Ed McAffrey, Jake Plummer, John Elway, Josh Mcdaniels, Kyle Orton, Rod Smith, Super Bowl XXXIII, Terrell Davis, Tony Scheffler