Cincinnati Bengals Stats

NFL - AFC NORTH

Cincinnati Bengals

2021-2022 TEAM LEADERS

Cincinnati Bengals

Founded by a man who also founded your biggest rival and is also the namesake of that rival, that is the struggle that comes with being a Bengals fan who knows and appreciates the team’s history.

They became an AFL franchise in 1967. Paul Brown and his ownership group had first sought an NFL expansion team for Cincinnati, but the NFL said no. However, the merger was on the horizon, a franchise was promised in New Orleans to help ease the concerns of Congress, and in order to keep the eventual merged NFL with an even number of teams, the Bengals were born.

Although to keep their own rosters from being further raided by a new NFL team, the NFL owners insisted that the Bengals join the AFL.

The new team began play in 1968, and Paul Brown was back on the coaching sidelines. And it didn’t take long with the three-time NFL champion and four-time AAFC champion to have the new team in Cincinnati battling it out in the postseason.

Championships by the Cincinnati Bengals

While the Bengals are in the group of 12 teams to have never won a Super Bowl, they are proudly not in the collection of four teams to never play in a Super Bowl. And it is especially enjoyable for residents of Cincinnati that one of those four teams plays in Cleveland.

As for the Super Bowls the Bengals have played in, they got there with a pair of AFC Championship wins.

1981 AFC Championship

In a game called the Freezer Bowl, the Bengals hosted the San Diego Chargers in temperatures of nine below zero and a wind chill of minus-57. It’s a temperature where frostbite can begin in as little as five minutes.

The Bengals offensive line famously played the game in short sleeves, a throwback to head coach Forrest Gregg, who played in the famous Ice Bowl NFL Championship of 1967 as a member of the Green Bay Packers.

The high-flying San Diego offense was unable to function in the cold weather, and the Bengals eased to a 27-7 win and a trip to Super Bowl XVI. The 49ers and Joe Montana won 26-21 for their first-ever Super Bowl title.

1988 AFC Championship

There was a new coach in Sam Wyche, a new quarterback in Boomer Esiason, and a new dance craze sweeping Cincinnati called the Ickey Shuffle. It was 123 yards for Ickey Woods in the Divisional round that put the Bengals in the AFC Championship Game and another 102 that beat Buffalo to advance to the Super Bowl.

Sadly Joe Montana was once again waiting for the Bengals, and he beat them on a fourth-quarter game-winning touchdown drive.

Key Stats by the Cincinnati Bengals

The Bengals were not great in their two AFL seasons prior to the 1970 merger. But in that very first NFL season, they won their first of nine division championships – five in the AFC Central (1970, 1973, 1981, 1988, 1990) and four in the AFC North (2005, 2009, 2013, 2015).

Along with the two AFC Championships and nine division titles, the Bengals have made the playoffs a total of 14 times.

The very first draft pick in franchise history was center Bob Johnson. He was the last member of the original Bengals team to retire, and he’s the only Bengal in history to have his number (54) retired.

The Bengals were the first team to use the No-Huddle Offense during all phases of the game and not just the end. It was Bengals assistant coach Bill Walsh that created the West Coast Offense. It was Bengals defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau who created the Zone Blitz Defense as a means of combating the West Coast Offense.

Top Players in Cincinnati Bengals History

The first draft pick in team history was Bob Johnson, an offensive lineman from Tennessee. But the very best draft pick in team history is an offensive lineman from USC, Anthony Munoz.

Munoz isn’t just the best Bengals player in the more than half a century that there has been pro football in Cincinnati. He is widely considered to be one of the best, if not the best, offensive lineman in NFL history.

Munoz was a nine-time First-team All-Pro, he played in 11 Pro Bowls, and he’s a member of both the 75th Anniversary All-Time Team and the 100th Anniversary All-Time Team. The Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year in 1991, Munoz was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1998.

Munoz is the only full-time Bengal in the Hall of Fame as of yet, but there have been a number of players to win NFL awards. Quarterback Ken Anderson was the 1981 NFL MVP when the Bengals won their first AFC title. Boomer Esiason was the NFL MVP when they won their second AFC title in 1988.

There have also been four Rookies of the Year to come from the Bengals – running back Paul Robinson in 1968, quarterback Greg Cook in 1969, wide receiver Eddie Brown in 1985, and wide receiver Carl Pickens in 1992.

Top Coaches in Cincinnati Bengals History

The original coach of the Bengals is the most storied of all Bengals coaches and one of the most respected coaches in NFL history. Paul Brown helped create the Cleveland Browns, and he won seven championships as their coach.

In 1967 he helped create the Bengals, and while never winning a championship in Cincinnati, he was twice the NFL coach of the year as a Bengal. In 1969 his expansion Bengals beat both Kansas City and Oakland, the two best teams in the AFL. And then, in 1970, he was the division champion, with a seven-game winning streak to close out the season.

Forrest Gregg is a Hall of Famer as a player and was the coach to take the Bengals to their first Super Bowl. Sam Wyche won a pair of divisions in Cincinnati and took the Bengals to their second Super Bowl. Marvin Lewis is the all-time winningest coach in franchise history with 131 wins, and he made it to the playoffs seven times in Cincinnati.

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Frequently Asked Questions

The Bengals were founded in 1966 and began play in the 1968 season.

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