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Cincinnati Bengals


1968-79  1980-89  1990-99  2000-2009
Coaches   Hall of Famers  Retired Numbers

History of the Cincinnati Bengals

 1968: Five years after being fired by the Cleveland Browns, Paul Brown finally got a team of his own with the Cincinnati Bengals, an AFL expansion team. The Bengals played their first game in San Diego on September 6th losing to the Chargers 29-13. At Nippert Stadium on the campus of University of Cincinnati the Bengals played their first home game beating the Denver Broncos 24-10. A week later the first year Bengals won again beating the Buffalo Bills 34-23. However, the Bengals would come back down to earth winning just one of their last 11 games. One of the bright spots for the expansion Bengals was Paul Robinson who won the AFL Rookie of the Year by rushing for 1,023 yards while scoring nine Touchdowns.

: The second year Bengals came flying out of the gate winning their first three games including a 24-19 home win over the eventual Super Bowl Champion Kansas City Chiefs. The Bengals would once again come down to earth by losing their next four games. The pesky Bengals would stun another powerhouse in Week 8 beating the Oakland Raiders 31-17, handing the Raiders their only regular season loss. The following week the Bengals would tie the playoff bound Oilers in Houston, firmly stating the second year Bengals were not pushovers. The Bengals would close the season with five straight losses, but they earned a new respect with their 4-9-1 record, as Quarterback Greg Cook earned Rookie of the Year honors by passing for 1,854 yards.


Paul Robinson and Greg Cook- Back to Back League MVP's

1970 : With the merger of the AFL and NFL, the Bengals were provided a rival in the Cleveland Browns who would provide instant excitement twice a year in the AFC Central. The year also marked the grand opening of Riverfront Stadium; a cookie cutter multipurpose built on the banks of the Ohio River. The Bengals opened Riverfront in style beating the Oakland Raiders 31-21. The Bengals would lose their next six games including a 30-27 loss in their first game in Cleveland. At 1-6 the Bengals third season looked like a lost season. However, the Bengals turned their season around with a 43-14 win in Buffalo over the Bills. The win was the start of a seven game winning streak that catapulted the Bengals to first place in the AFC Central. The Bengals entered the playoff on a roll as they faced the Baltimore Colts in the Divisional Playoffs in Baltimore. However, the Bengals found themselves overmatched losing 17-0 to the eventual Super Bowl Champions.

: The Bengals would mimic their start of the previous season by winning their first game and going on a long losing streak. However, this time the losing streak extended to 7 games, and despite the Bengals winning their next three games to improve to 4-7 the Bengals would not repeat their magical run, and would finish with a 4-10 record after losing their final three games.

: With Ken Anderson leading the team as Quarterback the Bengals get off to a fast start by winning four of their first five games. However, the Bengals would lose four of their next five games, and sat at 5-5 with four games to go. The Bengals would win three of their final four games to close the season with an 8-6 record, but two losses to the Cleveland Browns would cost them a shot at the postseason.

: With Quarterback Ken Anderson having a breakout season by passing for 2,428 yards while connecting on 18 TD passes, the Bengals win the AFC Central by posting an impressive 10-4 record. This included a season ending six game winning streak that helped catapult them into a tie with Pittsburgh Steelers. The Bengals would earn the Division Title via tiebreaker, and earned a Playoff match up in Miami with the defending Super Bowl Champion Dolphins. The Bengals would play the Dolphins tight in the first half and only trailed 21-16 at halftime. However the Dolphins defense tightened up and smothered the Bengals in the second half on the way to a 34-16 win.

: The Bengals got off to a quick start winning four of their first five games. However, the lack of a strong running game caught up with them, as they split their next six games. At 7-4 the Bengals were still in good position to make the playoffs, but losses in their final three games ended the Bengals season in disappointment at 7-7.

: Led by Quarterback Ken Anderson, who passes for 3,169 yards the Bengals come flying out of the gates winning their first six games. Week 7 could have established the Bengals as a league power facing the Defending Super Bowl Champion Pittsburgh Steelers at Riverfront Stadium, with first place in the AFC Central on the line. However the Bengals would end up losing 30-24 as the Steelers jumped back into first Place. The loss was just a mere bump in the road for the Bengals who would only lose two more games to finish with an 11-3 record, which was good enough for the AFC Wild Card. In the Divisional Playoffs the Bengals faced a nearly impossible task in facing the Raiders in Oakland. The Raiders would dominate the Bengals all game leading 31-14 in the 4th Quarter. Suddenly, the Bengals scored two touchdowns, needing to scoop up an onside kick to stay in the game. However, the Bengals late game lighting came up just a little short. Following the season Paul Brown would retire from coaching, to concentrate solely on his duties as Owner and General Manager.

: With Bill Johnson replacing the legendary Hall of Fame Coach Paul Brown, the Bengals are again a strong team posting a 10-4 record. However, the Bengals four losses all come against playoff teams giving the impression the Bengals can't win the big game, as the Bengals are squeezed out of the playoffs. The season also marked the professional debut of Running Back Archie Griffin, the only player to win the Heisman in two straight seasons while at Ohio State. In Griffin's rookie season he rushes for 625 yards while splitting time in the backfield with Bobby Clark. 

: The Bengals struggle with mediocrity all season finishing with an 8-6 record, as second year Running Back Archie Griffin struggles to learn the NFL game rushing for only 549 yards, while failing to cross the end zone.

: The Bengals stumble out of the gates losing their first 8 games as QB Ken Anderson struggles with turnovers, and RB Archie Griffin continues to fail in the NFL. The Bengals struggles continued as they lost their next four games and sat at 1-12. However the Bengals would win their final three games to finish with a terrible 4-12 record, saving them from total embarrassment. Following the season Coach Bill Johnson is fired.

: Under new coach Homer Rice the Bengals struggle again losing their first six games, before stunning the Pittsburgh Steelers, who would go on to win their fourth Super Bowl in six years at Riverfront Stadium 34-10. However, the Bengals would go on to finish with their second straight 4-12 season, costing Homer Rice his job after just one season. Meanwhile Running Back Archie Griffin continued to be one of the biggest busts in NFL history.

: With new coach Forrest Gregg at the helm, the Bengals draft Anthony Muñoz to rebuild a depleted offensive line. The Bengals would struggle again posting a 6-10 record. However, they would sweep the Pittsburgh Steelers derailing their chances for a third straight Super Bowl.

: The Bengals began the new season with a new look featuring orange helmets with sleek black tiger stripes. The Bengals get off to a good start winning three of their first four games in thrilling fashion. After splitting the next four games the Bengals embarked on a five game winning streak capturing the AFC Central title. The Bengals would go on to finish with the best record in the AFC at 12-4, as Quarterback Kenny Anderson won the NFL MVP, and Offensive Player of the year by passing for 3,754 yards and 29 Touchdown passes. Many of Anderson's landed in the hands of Rookie Wide Receiver Chris Collinsworth who caught eight Touchdown passes, while gaining 1,009 receiving yards in an impressive first season. In the first ever playoff game at Riverfront Stadium the Bengals and Buffalo Bills battled back and forth, with neither team having much trouble moving the ball. With the game tied at 21 late in the 4th Quarter Ken Anderson hit Cris Collinsworth with 16-yard Game winning Touchdown Pass as the Bengals advanced to the AFC Championship Game with a 28-21 win. The Bengals hosted the San Diego Chargers in freezing temperatures where the wind chill at game time was 59 degrees below 0. The Bengals would freeze the Chargers 27-7 to advance to their first ever Super Bowl.

Super Bowl XVI
: The Bengals faced the San Francisco 49ers in the Pontiac, in a Super Bowl featuring two  teams that finished in last place the previous season. The Bengals had no problem driving the ball down the field, but three turnovers in the red zone, had them trailing all game. The Bengals blew another opportunity as the 49ers prevented them from scoring on first down and goal from the one yard line. The Bengals would end up falling 26-21, nearly coming back trailing by as many as 16 points.

: In a season interrupted by a two month player strike that wipes out seven games, the Bengals finish with an impressive 7-2 record, good enough for the third seed in the eight team AFC Playoff. After a 4-0 record at Riverfront Stadium, the Bengals hosted the New York Jets in the first Round of the Playoffs. However the Bengals could not stop Jets Running Back Freeman McNeil, who rushed for 211 yards on 22 carries, as the Bengals fell 44-17, despite 356 yards passing from Ken Anderson.

: The Bengals stumble out of the gates losing six of their first seven games, as QB Ken Anderson struggles with interceptions. The Bengals would finish the season strong wining six of their final nine games, but with a disappointing 7-9 record, Coach Forrest Gregg was fired after the season.

: With former backup Quarterback Sam Wyche holding the coaching reigns, the Bengals began to look toward the future by drafting Quarterback Boomer Esiason out of Maryland. With aging QB Ken Anderson struggling the Bengals lost their first five games, on the way to a 4-8 start. With the playoffs out of question the Bengals gave Boomer a chance at Quarterback, and helped guide the Bengals to four straight wins to close the season with at 8-8.

: In his first full season as starting Quarterback, Boomer Esiason has an impressive season passing for 3,443 yard, while connecting on 27 Touchdown passes. However, the Bengals defense struggled all season, and team struggled to finish with a 7-9 record. Wide Receiver Eddie Brown won the Offensive Rookie of the year by collecting 942 receiving yards, and scoring eight Touchdowns.

: Boomer Esiason has another impressive season passing for 3,959 yards as the Bengals post a 10-6 record. However, in the competitive AFC the Bengals end up on the outside looking in when the playoffs begin.

: With a strike looming the Bengals held a lead in the closing second of Week 2 at Riverfront Stadium against the San Francisco 49ers, with a chance to start 2-0. However the 49ers stormed back and scored a winning Touchdown with no time on the clock. After the strike replacements went 1-2, the Bengals regulars returned and struggled, losing many close games, while blowing 4th Quarter leads, on the way to a disappointing 4-11 record. After the season Coach Sam Wyche was retained, with the understanding the Bengals must make the playoff for him to keep his job after 1988.

: The Bengals came flying out of the gate winning their first six games. Led by NFL MVP Boomer Easison, who passes 3,572 yards the Bengals would use the start to springboard them to a 12-4 record, that gave them Home Field Advantage, and the AFC Central Title. Also helping to guide the Bengals was rookie Running  Back Ickey Woods who shuffled his way to 1,066 yards scoring 15 Touchdowns. Each Touchdown was capped by his trademark dance  "The Ickey Shuffle as a new chant was heard at Riverfront Stadium, "Who Dey, think is gonna beat Dem Bengals." In the Divisional Playoffs at Riverfront Stadium the Bengals offensive line led by Anthony Muñoz destroyed the Seattle Seahawks all game as the Bengals advanced to the AFC Championship with a 21-13 win. The Bengals run game was so dominating Boomer Easison only needed to throw seven passes, all of which were completed. The AFC Championship Game turned into a war as the Bengals and Buffalo Bills met in a fight filled game. The Bengals would emerge victorious earning a trip to their second Super Bowl with a 21-10 record.

Super Bowl XXIII
: The Bengals were back in the Super Bowl, and once again they were facing the San Francisco 49ers, in Miami. The Bengals suffered a huge loss early when Tackle Tim Krumrie broke his leg in the 1st Quarter. However the Bengals defense would not fold, and the game went to halftime tied 3-3, it was the first Super Bowl ever tied at halftime. The Bengals would take the lead late  the 3rd Quarter on a Stanford Jennings kick return, and entered the 4th Quarter with a 13-6 lead. After the 49ers tied the game 13-13, the Bengals took a lead late in the 4th Quarter on Jim Breech Field Goal. With 3:20 left in the game the Bengals only needed to stop the 49ers once to win the Super Bowl. However, Quarterback Joe Montana led the 49ers on methodical 90-yard drive that ate time, and yardage. Firmly in Field Goal Range Montana hit John Taylor in the end zone with 34 seconds left to break Bengals hearts 20-16 in one of the most dramatic moments in Super Bowl history.

: Coming off their trip to the Super Bowl the Bengals got off to a good start winning four of their first five games. However, the Bengals struggled losing four of their next five. At 5-5 the Bengals were in danger of missing the playoffs, over the next four weeks the Bengals traded wins and losses. Needing to win their final two games and get some help the Bengals slaughter the Houston Oilers 61-7 at Riverfront Stadium. However before the Bengals even took the field for their Monday Night season finale in Minnesota on Christmas the Bengals were eliminated from the playoffs. They would go on to lose that finale 29-21 to the Vikings.

: After a 3-0 start the Bengals struggle with mediocrity and sat at 7-7 with two games to go, needing to win their final two games just to have a shot at the playoffs. The Bengals would have the advantage of playing both those important games at home. After winning the first one against the Houston Oilers 40-21, the Bengals need a 4th Quarter rally to beat the Cleveland Browns 21-14 to clinch the AFC Central Title. However the Bengals 9-7 record was not good enough for a first round bye. In the first ever 3-6 game, the Bengals hosted the Oilers in Riverfront Stadium. The game would not even be close as the Bengals jumped out to a 34-0 lead, en route to a 44-17 victory. In the Divisional Round the Bengals traveled to Los Angeles to face the Raiders. However, the Bengals would have to play without Anthony Muñoz, and would struggle all game to get first downs on the way to a 20-10 loss.

: Prior to the start of the season the Bengals lose their patriarch when founder Paul Brown dies at the age of 82. His son Mike would assume control of the franchise. The Bengals would stumble out the gate losing their first 8 games before beating the Cleveland Browns 23-21 at Riverfront Stadium. The Bengals would only win two more games the rest of the season finishing with a horrific 3-13 record. Following the season Coach Sam Wyche was fired.

: The Bengals, who were now owned by the son of legendary coach, now turned to the son of another legendary coach to lead the team on the field when the hired Dave Shula. The Bengals also raised some eyebrows when the selected Quarterback Dave Klingler in the first round. The younger Shula got off to a good start as the Bengals won their first game. However, the joy was short lived as the team lost its next six games, on the way to a 5-11 season. The lone bright spot of the season is WR Carl Pickens who earns Offensive Rookie of the Year honors. Following the season Offensive Tackle Anthony Muñoz would retire, as the Bengals moved in a new direction by trading Quarterback Boomer Esiason to the New York Jets.

: The Dave Klingler era at Quarterback fails right away as the Bengals lose their first ten games. The Bengals would finally get their first win against the Los Angeles Raiders 16-10, at Riverfront Stadium. After dropping their next two games the Bengals closed the season by winning two more games to finish with their second 3-13 season in three years.

: On October 2nd history was made at Riverfront Stadium, when Dave Shula and the Bengals faced Don Shula's Miami Dolphins in the first father-son coaching match up in NFL history. The elder Shula would emerge victorious 23-7, as the Bengals were in the midst of a 0-8 start. The Bengals would go on to complete another 3-13 season (their third in four years), as Jeff Blake become the new Quarterback of the future, as the Dave Klingler era came to crashing end.

: With Jeff Blake now firmly entrenched as the starting Quarterback, the Bengals win their first two games. However, the Bengals would come back towards earth, losing their next two, heading into a rematch with Don Shula and the Miami Dolphins, in which the Bengals lost in a heartbreaker 26-23. The Bengals would go on to play competitive football the rest of the season, but could not avoid their fifth straight losing season at 7-9. However one of the season's biggest disappointments is Running Back Ki-jana Carter who the Bengals took with second overall pick. Carter would suffer a knee injury in training camp forcing him to miss his entire rookie season. He would never fully recover, in an injury plagued career.

: The Dave Shula era comes to a sudden end when he is fired after a 1-6 start, as Jeff Blake struggles with turnovers. Former Bengals Tight End Bruce Coslet would replace Shula as Coach. The move paid off right away as the Bengals won the first 3 games under Coslet. After losing two of their next three games, the Bengals closed the year with three straight wins to finish with an 8-8 record.

: After winning the first game of the season, the Bengals go into a tailspin losing their next seven games, to effectively end their playoff hopes. The struggles would cost Jeff Blake his starting Quarterback job, as Boomer Esiason who was reacquired in the off-season comes back in to lead the Bengals. With Esiason back under center the Bengals started to win as the old pro proved he had something left by connecting on 13 Touchdown passes, while only giving up two interceptions. Under Boomer the Bengals would win six of their final eight games, to finish with a 7-9 record. Just as the Bengals were ready to give Boomer Esiason the job fulltime, he get a lucrative offer from ABC to do games on Monday Night. Since he would earn more money on ABC he decided to retire.

: The Bengals suffer another miserable 3-13 season as new Quarterback Neil O'Donnell is sacked 30 times. Despite the poor showing by the offensive line Running Back Corey Dillon establishes himself as a star rushing for 1,120 yards.

: In the final season of football at Riverfront Stadium, now known as Cinergy Field the Bengals struggle out of the gates again losing 10 of their first 11 games. After winning two straight the Bengals faced the Cleveland Browns in the final game at Riverfront Stadium. The Bengals would win the game 44-28, before losing their final two games to finish with a 4-12 record.

: The Bengals kicked off the season with a game against Paul Brown Stadium, against the hated Cleveland Browns. Unfortunately Bengals fans would go home unhappy as the Bengals fell 24-7. After being shutout in their next two games on the road Coach Bruce Coslet resigns, he would be replaced by Dick LeBeau. Under LeBeau the Bengals kept losing dropping their first three games under their new coach. The Bengals misery would finally come to an end on October 22nd against the Denver Broncos at the Paul. The Bengals would stun the Broncos 31-21 as Running Back Corey Dillon set a single game record by rushing for 278 yards. The Bengals would use it as springboard to win their next game in Cleveland despite not scoring a Touchdown. The Bengals offense would continue to struggle as Quarterback Akili Smith was overwhelmed by the NFL game. Corey Dillon would go on to set a team record by rushing for 1,435 yards, but with Smith's struggles at Quarterback the Bengals finished with a terrible 4-12 record.

: The Bengals abandoned their plans for Akili Smith, by acquiring Quarterback John Kitna from the Seattle Seahawks. The Bengals would win their first two games with Kitna behind center, and sat at 4-3 through the first seven games of the season. However the Bengals would struggle again losing their next seven games as QB John Kitna struggled with interceptions throwing 22 while only connecting on 12 Touchdown passes. The Bengals would win their final two games to close the season with a 6-10 record for their 11 straight seasons without a winning record. Despite the struggles Running Back Corey Dillon had another stellar year rushing for 1,315 yards.

: The Bengals struggles continued as they dropped their first seven games losing by average of 19 points in each game. The Bengals would take out all their frustrations in Week 8 by slaughtering the expansion Houston Texans on the road 38-38. However, the good feeling in the win would not last long as the Bengals continued to be the laughing stock of the NFL losing their next six games to fall to 1-13. In their final game at home the Bengals would stun the New Orleans Saints 20-13 to earn their second win on the season, but there would be no saving the Bengals from setting a new franchise record for losses as they finished the season with a 27-9 loss to the Buffalo Bills on the road to finish with a league worst 2-14 record. Following the season the Bengals would clean house, firing Coach Dick LeBeau and replacing him with Marvin Lewis. In addition the Bengals released Akili Smith to make room for the latest franchise Quarterback of the future Carson Palmer the 2002 Heisman Trophy winner, who they drafted at USC with the top overall pick.

: The Marvin Lewis era got off to a sluggish start as they dropped their first three games. However, with the exception of their first game against the Denver Broncos the Bengals were competitive all the way in losing to reigning AFC Division winners. The Bengals final got off the snide Week 4 with a solid 21-14 road winner over the Cleveland Browns. After an overtime loss to the Buffalo Bills dropped them to 1-4 the Bengals used the off week to regroup, and it paid off as they won their next two games against the Baltimore Ravens and Seattle Seahawks. Along the way a new hero emerged as Running Back Rudi Johnson playing in place of an injured Corey Dillon started to become a fan favorite with a solid 101 yard game in their upset over Seattle. After a disappointing effort on the road against the Arizona Cardinals the Bengals again relied on Rudi who rushed for 182 yards in a win against the Houston Texans. At 4-5 the Bengals were quietly playing solid football while the Kansas City Chiefs were the early story in football sitting at 9-0. Earlier in the week Chad Johnson the Bengals boisterous receiver guaranteed a win bringing some excitement to Bengal football for the first time in years. With Rudi Johnson again leading the way with 165 yards the Bengals were able to back up Chad Johnson's words as they won 24-19 to catapult themselves into the playoff chase. The Bengals remained hot winning their next two games to enter a key Week14 match up with the Ravens with a chance to win the division. However in the key showdown for first place the Bengals showed they were not quite ready for primetime as they were beaten 31-13. The Bengals would rebound to win their next game against the San Francisco 49ers, but at 8-6 the Bengals could not get that ninth win to earn their first winning season in 13 years, finishing at 8-8.

: The Bengals began to focus on the future as the traded Corey Dillon to the New England Patriots clearing the way for Rudi Johnson to start at Running Back, while giving Carson Palmer the starting job at Quarterback. Palmer and the young Bengals would struggle early, losing five of their first seven games. However, as the season wore on and Palmer grew comfortable on the field the Bengals began to win as they climbed back to .500 at 6-6, before an sprained knee sent Palmer to the sidelines in a hard fought 35-28 road loss to the eventual Super Bowl Champion Patriots. However the with wins in their final two games the Bengals would finish 8-8 for the second year in a row as Rudi Johnson finished sixth in the NFL in rushing with 1,454 yards, giving Bengals fans hope for the future.

: After a strong finish their was renewed optimism that the Bengals finally had a playoff contender again, feelings that would only be bolstered as the Bengals got off to a strong start winning their first four games as Carson Palmer got off to a strong start on his way to a solid 3836 yard season with 32 Touchdown passes. Receiving many of Palmer's passes was Chad Johnson who racked up 1,432 yards in receiving with nine Touchdown, many of which were followed by unique celebrations that made him a regular star on the spots highlight shows. After splitting two road games the Bengals faced their first test of the season when they hosted the Pittsburgh Steelers in Week 7, a test the Bengals would fail as the Steelers won the game 21-13. The Bengals would recover to win the next two before facing the unbeaten Indianapolis Colts, in an offensive showcase of two of the best Quarterbacks in the NFL. Palmer would nearly match Peyton Manning throw for throw before the Colts ended up winning the game 45-37. Following a 42-29 win over the Baltimore Ravens, the Bengals faced the Steelers again this time in Pittsburgh, where the Bengals offense continued to fly behind Carson Palmer who had three Touchdown passes and 227 yards passing in an impressive 38-31 win that gave the Bengals first place in the AFC North at 9-3. The Bengals would not relinquish first place winning the next two games to clinch the division with two weeks to go. After clinching the division the Bengals played cautiously and dropped their final two games to finish with an 11-5 record. Facing the Steelers again in the playoffs Paul Brown Stadium was in a festival like atmosphere for the first Bengals playoff game in 15 years. However, the early joy would be wiped out on the Bengals second play from scrimmage as Carson Palmer is injured by a hit to the knee by Kimo von Oelhoffen while completing a 66-yard pass to Chris Henry. Despite the loss of Palmer the Bengals still got off to a strong start leading 10-0 after the 1st Quarter behind back up Jon Kitna. The Bengals would still lead by 10 points late in the 2nd Quarter before the Steelers climbed within field goal at 17-14. While the x-rays on Palmer revealed the devastating news that he would need major reconstructive knee surgery the Steelers defense stiffened and shutdown the Bengals the rest of the way as they went on to win the game going away 31-17, launching a historic Super Bowl run completely on the road. The Bengals would just have to lick their wounds as Carson Palmer faced a long road to recovery ahead to be ready for some point during the upcoming season.

: After regaining credibility on the field the Bengals would become an embarrassment off the field as nine different Bengals players were either arrested or suspended for their actions off the playing field. One key player lost early was Odell Thurman suspended for the first four games of the season due to a drug-test related suspension which Odell stated was due to him skipping a test, not failing one. Thurman would later be suspended the entire season after being arrest for Drunk Driving. Meanwhile Chris Henry was a regular offender as he was arrested four different times. When the season began it was the knee of Carson Palmer that became the focus as he played well leading the Bengals to three straight wins to start the season. Against the New England Patriots in Week 4 the Bengals were exposed for the first time losing 38-13 as Palmer struggled and their defense looked vulnerable. A week later they would be stunned again as a late TD by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers handed the Bengals a 14-13 loss. After beating the Carolina Panthers 17-14, the Bengals defense continued to struggle as they would lose three straight culminating with a 49-41 loss at home to the San Diego Chargers, as LaDainian Tomlinson scored four touchdowns to spoil a 440-yard three Touchdown performance from Carson Palmer. The Bengals would rebound to win their next four games, as Carson Palmer continued to play strong football following knee surgery, ending the season with a career high 4,035 yards passing with 28 Touchdowns against 13 interceptions. However, needing to continue their winning streak against the Indianapolis Colts, the Bengals sputtered again losing 34-16. A week later the playoff slipped right out of the Bengals hands literally as Brad St. Louis snap on an extra point sailed wide of holder Kyle Larson on what would have been a game tying PAT in a heartbreaking 24-23 loss against the Broncos in snowy Denver. The Bengals would experience more heartbreak in the final game of the season as they lost their third straight to close the season 8-8, losing to the Pittsburgh Steelers in overtime 23-17 on a 67-yard TD pass from Ben Roethlisberger to Santonio Holmes.

: After their disappointing finish the Bengals entered the season with high hopes they could get back into the playoffs as they beat the Baltimore Ravens 27-20 in a hard fought season opening game on Monday Night Football. A week later Carson Palmer was on fire passing for 401 yards and six touchdowns. However, the Bengals were unable to stop the Cleveland Browns offense and ended up on the wrong side of a 51-45 shootout in Cleveland. A week later in Seattle, the Bengals would feel more frustration as they were stunned by the Seahawks 24-21 on a Matt Hasselbeck to Nate Burleson 22-yard Touchdown pass with one minute left. The Bengals frustrations would continue over their next two games as they fell to 1-4 with losses to the New England Patriots and Kansas City Chiefs. Facing a fifth straight loss, the Bengals rallied to beat the New York Jets 38-31, with three touchdowns in the fourth quarter. However, the win was just a temporary up in a season full of disappointment, as they lost two of their next three games to fall to 3-7. The Bengals would end the season on a positive note winning three of their last four games, including a 19-14 win over the Browns that derailed their rival's playoff hopes. However, a 7-9 record and a third place finish left Bengals fans feeling disappointed for the second year in a row.

: With Quarterback Carson Palmer struggling with a sore elbow that would limit him to four games, the Bengals would stumble out of the gate losing, their first eight games. Off the field distractions continued as Linebacker Ahmad Brooks was released after being charged with assault for punching a woman in the face late April, while Wide Receiver Chris Henry who was suspended for four games for his continued off field trouble was released, and then re-signed as the Bengals struggled to find offense. The Bengals would also lose Linebacker Odell Thurman, who was indefinitely suspended from the NFL for violating their substance abuse policy. Meanwhile, Chad Johnson in an effort to put Ochocinco on the back of his jersey legally has his name change to Chad Ochocinco. The Bengals would end their losing streak with a 21-19 victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars, which was followed up by a 13-13 tie over the Philadelphia Eagles, who would make it to the NFC Championship Game. However, the Bengals would not be able to salvage their season, as the Bengals were blown out in each of their next three games, before closing the season with three straight wins over fellow non-contenders to finish with an awful 4-11-1 record.

2009:  The Bengals returned to the postseason for the first since 2005 after finishing with a 10-6 record and winning the AFC North. Cincinnati swept all six of its games against AFC North foes for the first perfect run in franchise history. This piece of team lore was accomplished in historically hairraising fashion. In Weeks 3-5, the Bengals defeated each division rival by three points (23-20 vs. Pittsburgh, 23-20 in overtime at Cleveland, and 17-14 at Baltimore). Cincinnati thus became the first team since the 1970 merger to win division games that closely (three points or less) in three successive weeks.
The season's accomplishments were overshadowed by the unexpected tragic deaths of Vikki Zimmer, wife of Bengals defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer, on Oct. 8, and wide receiver Chris Henry, who died at age 26 in an accident on Dec. 17 in Charlotte, N.C. Henry played in this season’s first eight games with the Bengals, but was sidelined for the remainder of the season with a left forearm fracture he suffered on Nov. 8 at Baltimore. After a follow-up exam in Cincinnati the week of Dec. 6, he had been cleared to be in Charlotte to be with his fiancé, Loleini Tonga and her family. 
The Bengals finished the 2009 season ranked sixth in scoring defense at 18.2 points per game. They just missed equaling the franchise’s highest-ever NFL rank in scoring defense for a full season. The 1972 Bengals had the top ranking ever, finishing fifth in the league at 16.4 points allowed over a 14-game schedule.  
Wide receiver Chad Ochocinco had a team-leading nine TDs (all receiving), his most since 2005, when he also had nine ... Ochocinco fell one TD catch short of tying his career high of 10, posted in 2003 ... Running back Cedric Benson rushed for 1251 yards, the seventh-best in Bengals history ... Benson had six 100-yard rushing games, a team record for an individual ... Cornerbacks Johnathan Joseph and Leon Hall each had six INTs this season, a career high for both players ... Hall led the team with 27 passes defensed, and Joseph was second at 25 ... Linebacker Dhani Jones had a team-leading 142 tackles, 41 more than second place Keith Rivers ... The Bengals ranked ninth in the NFL in fewest sacks allowed (29) ... Rookie Quan Cosby established a Bengals record for punt return yardage in a season (474) ... Cosby's total of 474 yards led the NFL.



Paul Brown 1968-1975
Bill Johnson 1976-1978
Homer Rice 1978-1979
Forrest Gregg 1980-1983
Sam Wyche 1984-1991
David Shula 1992-1996
Bruce Coslet 1996-2000
Dick LeBeau 2000-2002
Marvin Lewis 2003-Present

 Hall of Famers:

Paul Brown Coach 1968-1975
Charlie Joiner WR 1972-1975
Anthony Munoz OT 1980-1992

 Retired Numbers:

54 Bob Johnson C 1968-1979

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