100th Battle of Ohio: The history behind a 53-year-old rivalry

Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow (9) and the Cincinnati Bengals offense take the field...
Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow (9) and the Cincinnati Bengals offense take the field for the first possession of the game in the first quarter during a Week 9 NFL football game, Sunday, Nov. 7, 2021, at Paul Brown Stadium in Cincinnati.(Cincinnati Enquirer)
Published: Sep. 10, 2023 at 12:06 PM EDT|Updated: Sep. 10, 2023 at 12:27 PM EDT
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CLEVELAND, Ohio (WXIX) - The Cincinnati Bengals go head-to-head with the Cleveland Browns Sunday afternoon in the 100th Battle of Ohio.

NFL Week 1 is in full effect, and the Bengals are preparing to take on one of their biggest rivals.

While the Cincinnati team may be at a slight disadvantage as they play in Cleveland, the Bengals will still hold the most wins in the historic Battle of Ohio clash, whether they win or lose. According to The Football Database, the Bengals are beating the Browns 52-47.

In the last game they played against each other, the Browns played at Paycor Stadium and lost 23-10 on Dec. 11, 2022.

The history behind the rivalry

Other than the fact that the two teams are located in opposite corners of Ohio, the rivalry began in 1970 when the Bengals and the Browns first played against one another.

The Browns were founded in 1946 and were named after their head coach, Paul Brown. The Cleveland team was a dominant force in what was the All-America Football Conference, and even played in several NFL Championship Games, according to “Cradle of Coaches: A Legacy of Excellence” from Miami University’s archives.

However, in 1963, Brown was fired by the new team owner, Art Modell, later establishing the Bengals in 1967. The team played their first game AFL season in 1968.

After the AFL and NFL merged, both teams were placed in the same division, the AFC Central, where they faced-off against each other twice a year, sparking a decades-long rivalry, according to an Essentially Sports article.

On Oct. 11, 1970, the Bengals lost to the Browns in their first regular game of the season after defeating them in a preseason game - a win people say Cleveland needed.

But the Bengals proved their worth the next time they saw the Browns that season when they won 14-10 at the former Paul Brown Stadium.

Since the beginning, the rivalry has only continued to grow, adding on a few new rivals here-and-there, such as the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Kick-off for the 100th Battle of Ohio is at 1 p.m.

The Bengals will be dressed in their white uniforms with an orange helmet for Sunday’s game.

Inactive players are listed below.

Cincinnati BengalsCleveland Browns
Chase Brown (30)Juan Thornhill
DJ Ivey (38)Kahlef Hailassie
Joseph Ossai (58)Luke Wypler
Trey Hill (63)Isaiah McGuire
Jackson Carman (79)Siaki Ika

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