The Kansas City Chiefs play the spunky Cincinnati Bengals this weekend in what will be their final challenge in a pretty brutal schedule thus far. Some experts are even predicting a Bengals’ upset, since apparently they have the much better quarterback.
Right, well while the Chiefs quiver in their boots over the upcoming game, I thought I would take a brief look at the history between the two teams.
The Chiefs and Bengals have played each other 29 times over the years. Surprisingly, the Bengals have the better record, but only by one game. That’s right, the Chiefs could tie up this series this weekend, giving each team exactly 15 wins and going for .500.
Looking back at the series history between the Chiefs and Bengals.
The two teams seem to meet every few years (the maximum they can go without a matchup now is four years, but it’s usually more regular than that). In a weird scheduling quirk, the teams only played each other once in the ’90s. And if the Bengals win their division, they will play the Chiefs again next year to decide who will get the new edge in the head-to-head (assuming the Chiefs win this weekend).
Over the past 50 years, the two teams have mostly gone back and forth in what was a pretty even matchup. But recently the Bengals have actually dominated the intra-AFC rivalry. They’ve won the last four matchups going back to 2008. The pre-2013 Andy Reid era matchups shouldn’t be that much of a surprise. The Chiefs were terrible, and the Bengals had Andy Dalton for a few of those.
The most recent win by the Bengals really sticks out though. It came in 2015, which was the year that the Chiefs started 1-5. The Bengals were the third loss in that five game skid that had many wondering if the Andy Reid era was even going to last. The patience pulled off when the Chiefs rattled off 11 straight wins to end the season and win their first playoff game in over 20 years.
Fast forward to 2021/2022 and the Chiefs faced a strangely similar situation when they started off 3-4 and had just 6% of making the playoffs (according to Mitch Holthus). But here they are, having rattled off 8 straight wins and on their way to the playoffs once again.
The Most Memorable Bengals-Chiefs Game
Probably the most memorable Chiefs vs. Bengals game for me took place on New Year’s Day of 2006, coincidentally also in Week 16 of the season. It was the final regular season game for the Chiefs, and I got the chance to attend the game with my dad. I was just 11 years old. This game was special because it turned out to be the final game of Dick Vermeil’s legendary coaching career.
I was too young to understand how the playoff system worked, I just knew that I wanted the Chiefs to win and hopefully they could get into the playoffs. As it turned out, the Chiefs did have a very slim chance to make the playoffs, but they didn’t control their own destiny. That was a shame, because the Chiefs gave Vermeil a classic sendoff by beating down the Bengals 37-3.
The Bengals themselves had already clinched a spot, and very confused I asked my dad, “How did the losers get into the playoffs?” He simply comforted me by saying, “I guess they just let the wrong team in.”
It’s one of my favorite memories, not only being at Dick Vermeil’s final football game, but also getting to see the Chiefs play with my dad. I’ll be remembering that game as I hope for another New Year’s bash of the Bengals, this time with the roles reversed. This time, they let the right team in.