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Top 50 Moments: November to Remember Rolls on with AFC Title Game Preview


The November to Remember rolls on with the Bengals going into San Diego and smoking the high-flying Chargers and Hall of Fame quarterback Dan Fouts, 40-17. The Nov. 8, 1981 game turns out to be a preview of the AFC title game, but long before the Bengals ice the Chargers in Cincinnati they scorch them on the road in a dominating 31-7 first half that all but gives them home-field advantage for the storied rematch.

Pro Bowl receiver Isaac Curtis comes home to ground Air Coryell with its own medicine, catching an astounding eight balls for 147 yards and a touchdown in the first half alone. But it is a highlight reel for fourth-year cornerback Louis Breeden.

Breeden has both interceptions of Fouts and his 102-yard return for a touchdown with 36 seconds left in the half punctuates the rout with a then-NFL record. He becomes just the fourth man to return one that long. Three others have gone longer since and the Bengals' Artrell Hawkins matched it 20 years and 51 weeks later.

But none were in a bigger game. Breeden added a fumble recovery to an attack that sacked Fouts six times, two each by linebacker Reggie Williams and defensive end Ross Browner as the Bengals moved to 7-3. They go on to finish November 5-0 on the way to a 12-4 record. Whenever the old Chargers gripe about losing to the Bengals in the ice 63 days later, the old Bengals remind them they had their way with them in San Diego's own greenhouse.

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