TDBH: Bengals defuse Simms’ 513-yard explosion to beat Giants.

Posted Oct 12, 2017

This Day in Bengals History - October 13, 1985

Don’t study today’s stat sheet as the 1-4 Bengals try to stave off oblivion against Giants head coach Bill Parcells’ emerging NFC East power. Only gaze at the improbable Riverfront Stadium scoreboard that says Bengals, 35-30, even though Giants quarterback Phil Simms throws for 513 yards and the Bengals get outgained by 271 yards after generating all of minus-three yards in the second half. “Statistics don’t mean anything,” says Bengals head coach Sam Wyche. “Big plays and turnovers decide ballgames.” The Bengals get them in droves. Linebacker Ron Simpkins strips running back George Adams at the Bengals 1 to prevent one touchdown. Free safety James Griffin comes off the bench for two interceptions, one a 24-yard TD return that gives the Bengals breathing room with 1:03 left in the third quarter at 28-20. Two plays later defensive end Eddie Edwards gets one of his 2.5 sacks and linebacker Reggie Williams scoops up Simms’ fumble at the Giants 9 and lugs it to the 1 to set up what proves to be the winning touchdown when Bengals quarterback Boomer Esiason goes play-action and hits tight end Rodney Holman for a the TD.

Only Norm Van Brocklin 34 years before him throws for more yards in a game than Simms. His 40 completions on 62 attempts are also the second best of all-time. But he pays a heavy price against an array of blitzes that forces seven sacks and three of the Giants’ four turnovers in Simms’ two picks and a fumble. “He’s got to be bruised. I hope he’s bruised,” Reggie Williams says. “Statistics are for losers.” Williams is all over Riverfront after a tough week he has taken criticism for a key unsportsmanlike conduct penalty in last week’s loss to the Jets. One of the most quotable Bengals ever cuts off communication with the media to prepare for the Giants. “I’m not used to being abused and criticized in the media,” says the always classy Williams after it is over. “I try hard to maintain a positive public image and it was very important to me that I have a solid football game today.” His performance of six tackles, one sack, a fumble return, and three passes defensed speaks for itself. Williams confounds the Giants with a look where he lines up behind nose tackle Tim Krumrie or end Ross Browner and runs stunts with them. “It opened up some pass rush lanes for us,” Williams says.

Simms has not only made history, but Parcells mad. “I saw some good things and I saw some bad things, Parcells says. “Nobody got anything done. I mean, nobody.” Simms knows what is waiting and it’s not a parade down Broadway. “When we look at the game films tomorrow all I’ll see is what I screwed up. We had too many opportunities to win this game.”

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