Cincinnati Bengals Crush the Cleveland Browns, and Now We're Absolutely Rolling in Free Chili

Jessie Bates' sudden timely "injury" from the previous game is under scrutiny, though.

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click to enlarge Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow (left) and defensive tackle Zach Carter celebrate after the Bengals' win on Dec. 11, 2022. - Photo: Cincinnati Bengals media assets
Photo: Cincinnati Bengals media assets
Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow (left) and defensive tackle Zach Carter celebrate after the Bengals' win on Dec. 11, 2022.

The Cincinnati Bengals have been relentless in their wins lately – and at this point, local chili lovers need to be, too.

The Bengals crushed the Cleveland Browns 23-10 at Paycor Stadium on Dec. 11. Besting the Ohio rival means that the Bengals have won the last five straight games, which in turn means that Cincinnatians have been eating free Gold Star chili for five straight weeks. What's that doing to Cincinnati's collective digestive system is something only Greater Cincinnati Water Works and Metropolitan Sewer District would know, but for fans of football and the Queen City special, it's been bliss.

Fans can fill their bellies with Gold Star again on Dec. 12, thanks to Sunday's excitement. As the regional chili chain has done in the past, Gold Star is giving fans one free regular 3-, 4- or 5-Way with the purchase of another one of equal or greater value the day after the Bengals win. The Who Dey Way promotion is good all season long no matter if the win occurs on home turf or elsewhere. The promo is available at all Gold Star locations for drive-in, carry-out, dine-in and online; mention the Who Dey Way special when ordering.

The Bengals are now 9-4 for this season, while the Browns have dropped to 5-8.

With three of the Bengals' top receivers out (Tee Higgins was scratched shortly before the game), quarterback Joe Burrow had to tweak his game a bit, relying on Ja'Marr Chase for 119 receiving yards, who notched his fourth game of 100+ yards this season. Backups wide receiver Trenton Irwin and slot receiver Trent Taylor got in on the fun, too, grabbing 58 yards and 34 yards, respectively. Running backs Joe Mixon and Samaje Perine kept the ground game going, and the defense held Browns' amazing running back Nick Chubb and the rest of Cleveland's offensive line back from doing real damage.
"We're just imposing our will on people," Bengals safety Jessie Bates told reporters after the game. "The thing is we're confident. We're playing really physical as a defense."

Bates had earned some notoriety during the Bengals' Dec. 4 win against the Kansas City Chiefs for dramatically collapsing with an "injury" when the team's defensive subs were hitting the field late, which could have resulted in a penalty. He previously had been standing casually, so the timing was convenient, and the issue became a viral must-watch. β€œNow, look at this, watch. They're substituting and they're late. Bates, go down! Go down! Go down! There! [laughing] Ow, I got a, uh, cramp! Oh, that one really hurts, ow. Let me get off, okay,” CBS color analyst and former Dallas Cowboys star Tony Romo narrated sarcastically. β€œThat wasn't fake at all."

But the NFL wasn't happy with Bates' Oscar-worthy performance. According to NBCSports, the Bengals and Bates are being fined for faking an injury. A memo that the NFL sent to all 32 franchises states that there are minimum fines for a player ($50,000), a head coach ($100,000), a position coach ($50,000) and the team ($350,000). Bates can appeal the ruling and fine.
Next, the Cincinnati Bengals will visit the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Raymond James Stadium  on Dec. 18. Kickoff is scheduled for 4:25 p.m.

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