For a team that never has won a Super Bowl and doesn’t a playoff win since 1991, digging up the past is never a good thing.
But to find something that rivals the performance the Cincinnati Bengals put on Sunday in a season-opening 20-0 loss to the Baltimore Ravens, it requires a deep dive into the annals.
The loss marked the second time in the 50-season history of the Bengals they have been shutout in a season opener. The first came in 10-0 loss at Denver in 1979.
It also marked the first time the team has been shut out at home in the Marvin Lewis era. The last time the Bengals got blanked at Paul Brown Stadium was 2001 in a 24-0 loss to the Chicago Bears. The only other home shutouts in franchise history came in 1998 (35-0 to Tampa Bay), 1987 (34-0 to Cleveland), 1980 (14-0 to Buffalo) and 1968 (34-0 to Oakland).
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“No one in this building, no in this organization figured that (geting shut out),” running back Jeremy Hill said. “But we did. It’s a reality check. We’ve got to get back to the basics and do what got us here, and that’s executing in the red zone. The best year our offense had we were just killing it in the red zone. We’ve got to do a better job of that.”
And the five turnovers were the most in the Andy Dalton-A.J. Green era, which began in 2011. Even in last year’s disappointing 6-9-1 campaign, the Bengals never mad more than two turnovers in a game.
“Going into the game, we knew we couldn’t hurt ourselves with turnovers, and obviously we did that,” head coach Marvin Lewis said. “We ended up with four or five. We had the ball in the scoring zone a couple of times, and we don’t come away with anything.”
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The last time they had five was in a 23-17 loss at Indianapolis in 2010.
And the last time the Bengals had five turnovers and surrendered at least four sacks was in Marvin Lewis’ first season in 2003 in a 31-13 loss at Baltimore. Two of the six sacks the Ravens had in that game were by Terrell Suggs, who also had two Sunday.