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2014 Game-by-Game: Week 16

Posted Jul 21, 2014

Denver's only Monday night game of 2014 comes at Cincinnati, where Peyton Manning will hope to remain unbeaten against the Bengals.

  • WHEN: Monday, Dec. 22; 8:30 p.m. EST.
  • WHERE: Paul Brown Stadium; Cincinnati.
  • TV: ESPN.
  • SERIES RECORD: Broncos lead, 19-8.
  • JOHN FOX'S RECORD: 3-2.
  • PEYTON MANNING'S RECORD: 8-0.
  • SERIES STREAK: The Broncos have won four straight and five of the last six.
  • LAST TIME: Broncos 31, Bengals 23; Nov. 4, 2012. The Broncos overcame a 17-0 second-half surge by Cincinnati to post their third consecutive win after a 2-3 start. The Bengals' comeback from a 17-3 deficit was fueled by a pair of Terrance Newman pickoffs of Peyton Manning, who tossed nearly as many interceptions in the third quarter of this game (two) as in his seven and a half previous games against the Bengals (three). But after the Bengals nudged in front via BenJarvus Green-Ellis' 2-yard touchdown run, Manning and the Broncos dashed 80 yards in five plays to the 1-yard Joel Dreessen touchdown reception that put them back in front. A Champ Bailey interception on the Bengals' subsequent series set up a 46-yard march to a second consecutive touchdown, and the Broncos had the game in hand.
  • LAST TIME IN CINCINNATI: Same.


NOTING THE GAME:

  • In 28 meetings between the clubs, this will be the second to take place in prime time. The first was a decade ago, also on Monday Night Football, when Cincinnati pulled away for a 23-10 win. The atmosphere was charged for the occasion -- understandably so, since it was the Bengals' first home MNF game in 15 years. Since that 2004 win, the Bengals have hosted MNF four times, winning twice. The Bengals are 10-20 all-time on Monday nights, including 7-4 at home.
  • Denver appears on MNF for a 23rd consecutive season, the longest active streak and the second-longest in league history. The Broncos are 29-36-1 on Monday nights, including just 8-25 on the road; however, they have split their last six Monday night away games, dating back to a 41-14 win at Oakland on Sep. 8, 2008.
  • The Broncos have a four-game winning streak over the Bengals, but it could have easily gone in the other direction; none of the games have been decided by more than eight points, and the Broncos' margin of victory is a combined 16 points.
  • John Elway has never lost to the Bengals in any capacity. The Broncos were 7-0 when he started against them as a player, and they defeated the Bengals in 2011 and 2012, his first two years as an executive vice president.
  • In Manning's eight previous games against Cincinnati, his teams have averaged 33.25 points per game and have scored at least 31 points six times.
  • This is the Broncos' 14th trip to Cincinnati, but just the second one to come in the second half of the season and the latest in a calendar year by 30 days. The only other time the Broncos played at Cincinnati after midseason was on Nov. 22, 1981, when the eventual AFC champion Bengals trounced Denver, 38-21.
  • Expect chilly conditions for the game. The average high and low temperatures for Cincinnati on Dec. 22 are 41ºF/5ºC and 23ºF/-5ºC, likely placing the game-time temperature a bit below freezing. Fortunately for the fans on hand, the city's famed chili is sold at Paul Brown Stadium concession stands.
  • If both teams have good health, this is one of the most fascinating matchups on the schedule, with a potential Aqib Talib-A.J. Green showdown on the outside when the Bengals have possession, and more than a few snaps when Cincinnati defensive tackle Geno Atkins could go against All-Pro right guard Louis Vasquez. According to ESPN.com, the Bengals gave up 0.6 more yards per rush without Atkins on the field (4.3 yards) than with him (3.7). He missed the Bengals' last seven games of 2013 with a torn anterior cruciate ligament suffered in a Halloween loss at Miami.