From Brock Berlin (a 2007 win) to Deshaun Watson (a 2017 loss), Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis is 3-4 against quarterbacks making their first NFL start, according to Elias. Of course, he's 0-0 as a head coach/defensive coordinator when he makes his debut as both Sunday (1 p.m.-Cincinnati's Channel 12) in Baltimore.
Ah, Baltimore. Not only is it where Lewis coordinated some great Ravens defense at the turn of the century, but it's also where the Mike Zimmer Era got off to a tough start in a loss to a rookie quarterback making his first NFL start. On Paul Brown's 100th birthday, Sept. 7, 2008, the Ravens' Joe Flacco defeated the Bengals in Zimmer's first game as defensive coordinator in a 17-10 Opening Day best remembered for Flacco's 38-yard touchdown run off a blown handoff on a reverse that to this day remains the longest run of Flacco's NFL career.
It's a small world. Flacco's quarterbacks coach that day just happened to be Hue Jackson and Sunday's is Jackson's first game as Lewis' special assistant. There is anticipation that with Flacco hurting the Ravens are going start rookie quarterback Lamar Jackson for the first time since taking him with the last pick in the first round back in April.
According to Elias, the Bengals have lost to Watson, Flacco, Shaun Hill (2007 in San Francisco) and Tom Savage (2016 in Houston) in their first NFL starts while beating Berlin at home and Jimmy Clausen (in Carolina in 2010) and Johnny Manziel in the money grab game of 2014 in Cleveland.