Then 2011 arrived.
That year, Cincinnati snapped the longest losing streak it's ever had to an opponent by claiming a 23-20 win over the Bills. Down 17-3 at halftime, the Bengals roared back for the big early-season win. Buffalo entered the game with a 3-0 record.
The most important number the Bengals have on their minds this season as they prepare to travel to Ralph Wilson Stadium is four. By the end of Sunday afternoon's game, they want to have improved their record to 4-2. That isn't the only number that can help dictate the outcome, though. As you prepare to see the Week 6 conference clash, keep the following numbers fresh in mind, too:
2: Number of games the Bengals have won over their last three AFC East opponents. They had lost six straight games to AFC East teams before that stretch.
19: Consecutive regular-season games the Bengals defense has gone without allowing a 300-yard passer. That is the longest active streak in the NFL. The last time a quarterback crossed the 300-yard threshold was in Week 2 last season. The Bengals also did not permit a 300-yard passer in their wild-card loss to Houston.
6.4: Sack percentage for the Bengals, which ranks 19th in the NFL. A year ago, they had a sack percentage of 8.1, good enough for third-best in the league.
72.2: Percentage of Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton's passes that are going to his tight ends.
63.0: Percentage of Dalton's passes that are targeting his receivers and running backs.
209: Yards rushing for Bengals rookie Giovani Bernard. That's the most of all rookie running backs.
212: Yards receiving for Bengals rookie Tyler Eifert. That leads all rookie tight ends.
73: Yards receiving for Mohamed Sanu while lining up in the slot, according to ProFootballFocus.com. It's the highest figure for a Bengals receiver while playing that particular position this year.
8: Consecutive home games the Bills have won over the Bengals. Buffalo's last home loss to Cincinnati was Nov. 11, 1973.
2: Starts Buffalo quarterback Thad Lewis will have by the end of Sunday's game. His only other career start came in Week 17 last season with Cleveland, when he was 22-for-32 passing on 204 yards, a touchdown and an interception, in the Browns' loss to the Steelers.
2.4: Yards after contact for Bills running back Fred Jackson. That's the second-most yards after contact in the NFL.
65.0: Total yards per game this season for fellow Bills running back C.J. Spiller. Last year, Spiller had 106.4 total yards per game.
7.5: Sacks for Bills defensive end Mario Williams. That figure is the highest through the first five games of a season in his career. It's also the third-highest sack total in the NFL.
30.8: Percentage of third-down plays the Bills have converted this season, good for 28th in the league.
3,566: Points all 32 NFL teams have combined to score through the first five weeks of the season. That was an exact tie for the most points scored through the first weeks of an NFL season. That was set by Week 5 of the 2011 season. Teams entering Week 6 combined for 46.31 points per game, which set a pace for the second-highest combined average in NFL history. Teams combined for 46.48 points per game in 1948.
Information from ESPN Stats & Info was used in this report. Follow on Twitter @ESPNStatsInfo.