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Celebrating a Cincinnati Bengal: Chris Henry's Top Five Games

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Celebrating a Cincinnati Bengal: Chris Henry's Top Five Games
Andy Lyons/Getty Images

As football fans mourn today, let's take a look back at the times when hearing Chris Henry's name put a smile on our faces. Here are my five favorite games from Henry's career.

Games are in chronological order.


The Coming Out Party
(Oct. 9, 2005 at Jacksonville)

It was Sunday Night Football on ESPN for the Bengals (this was before NBC took over), and rookie Chris Henry showed a national television audience just how talented he was.

The former West Virginia Mountaineer caught three balls for 85 yards. Henry's final catch of the night was a 25-yard fourth-quarter touchdown pass from Carson Palmer that cut the Jaguars' lead to 23-20. Henry also had a 47-yard catch in the game.

Cincinnati would lose the game, but Bengals fans and players alike knew the team had a lethal weapon in its hands.


The Playoff Game
(Jan. 1, 2006 vs. Pittsburgh)

After a 15-year absence from the NFL playoffs, Bengals fans were clamoring for a win when the hated Steelers came to town for a Wild Card Game.

This wasn't necessarily a big game for Chris, but for Bengals fans across the country, this is his standout moment, the one for which he will always be remembered.

On the first play from scrimmage—a play 15 years in the making for Bengals fans—Carson Palmer unloaded a 66-yard bomb downfield to his rookie wide receiver.

Henry, like he had done all season, hauled in the long ball, and the stadium went crazy.

That is, until everyone looked back and saw Palmer on the ground.

To this day, Bengals point to this Palmer-to-Henry play and ask, "What if?"


Tearing Up the Steel Curtain
(Sep. 24, 2006 at Pittsburgh)

In the second quarter of this bitter rivalry game, Chris Henry gave the Steeler defense a third Bengal receiver to worry about.

As the Steelers keyed in on T.J. Houshmanzadeh and Chad Johnson (now Chad Ochocinco), Carson Palmer found a new favorite toy. Palmer hit Henry with two second-quarter touchdown passes. The first one, from 16-yards out, tied the game at seven. The second one gave the Bengals a 14-7 lead.

Cincinnati would need each and every score that Henry provided, as they held on to win 28-20. Henry finished the game with five catches for 69 yards and two touchdowns.


New Year's Eve
(Dec. 31, 2006 vs. Pittsburgh)

With the Bengals fighting for their playoff lives in the 2006 season finale, Chris Henry came to play.

Once again the Steeler defense keyed in on the Bengals' two biggest playmakers, Housh and Chad.

Once again, Henry exploited it—this time to the tune of 124 yards.

The biggest play of the day for Henry was a 66-yard touchdown pass from Palmer that gave the Bengals a 10-7 fourth-quarter lead.

Unfortunately for Henry and Bengals fans, the 124-yard, four-catch effort would be in vain, as Pittsburgh would win 23-20 in overtime.

 

Henry's Importance to the Offense (Oct. 11, 2009 at Baltimore)

For the past six weeks, Bengals fans have been wondering where the offense has gone.

This October 2009 game against Baltimore proves all you need to know about Henry: He was vital to the team's air attack.

In a game in which he didn't score, Henry hauled in three catches for 92 yards.

More importantly, it was Palmer's biggest passing day of the year. It's probably not a coincidence that Palmer's most productive day came on Henry's biggest.

 

Favorite Chris Henry memory? Share it below.

(For more on Chris Henry, check out It's Never Sunny in Cincinnati )

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