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Complete Guide to The Cincinnati Bengals

This Cincinnati Bengals team guide is designed to highlight some of the Bengals’ best moments during the franchise’s time in the NFL while also assisting the fans needing more information.

Cincinnati hasn’t been the most lucrative source of NFL betting, but with a new head coach in town, a new era is born. Keep tabs on the Bengals with updated stats, analysis, records, and team history by routinely checking in on this page.

Cincinnati Bengals Overview and Key Information

The Bengals have been a part of the Cincinnati, Ohio, sports culture since 1968 when they played their first two seasons as an AFL team. After the AFL-NFL merger in 1970, the Cincinnati Bengals were positioned in the AFC Central Division but have been in the AFC North since 2002.

In the franchise’s 50-year history, the team has 14 playoff appearances and two trips to the Super Bowl but has come up short in Championship wins. The Bengals are one of 12 NFL teams that have never claimed victory in the Big Game.

There have only been ten head coaches over the years, and current coach Zac Taylor has held the position since 2019.

Cincinnati Bengals – Key Info
AFC North
Current Team Location
Cincinnati, Ohio
Paul Brown Stadium
Head Coach
Zac Taylor
Mike Brown
Team Value (Forbes 2018)
$1.8 billion (30th)

Cincinnati Bengals Team History

The Bengals are one of the 12 teams that have yet to win a Super Bowl Championship, despite the team making two appearances, both against the San Francisco 49ers.

Back in 1966, Paul Brown (Bengals first head coach) founded the Bengals. He was the co-founder and first coach of the Cleveland Browns as well, the team that’s named in his honor. The Bengals were the last team added to the AFL and provided the leagues with an even number for the subsequent NFL merger two years later.

In 1970, the Bengals were positioned in the AFC Central and won their first divisional championship in 1970 and again in ’73 and ’75.

After some high-level success in the ‘80s (two Super Bowl runs), Cincinnati endured a long drought, missing postseason play in 14 straight seasons.

The 2003 season started some new momentum for the team from Ohio. It was head coach Marvin Lewis’ first year on the job, and he turned a three-win team the year prior to a passable 8-8 squad. Two years later, the Bengals took the first of their first-place finishes in the AFC North after NFL repositioning in 2002.

A string of wild card playoffs followed in 2009, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, and 2015, but the Bengals haven’t managed to get past the first round.

Super Bowl Appearances and Playoff History

Although the Bengals only had three playoff years in the ‘80s, they made both of their Super Bowl appearances during the decade, losing both big games to the San Francisco 49ers.

Being the loser opposite of the 49ers dynasty was hardly something to get upset about, though.

Cincinnati kept both Super Bowls fairly close, with the first (Super Bowl XVI) ending in a 26-21 loss. The Niners looked to be running away with a 20-0 lead at the break, but the Bengals refused to give in. Cincinnati cut their deficit to 20-14 in the fourth quarter and cut it to 26-21 again with just under two minutes left.

After narrowly missing out on a miracle comeback, the Bengals went into their rematch seven years later with confidence. Cincy held a 13-6 lead going into the fourth quarter and clung to a 16-13 lead with just under three minutes to go.

Joe Montana delivered an iconic touchdown to John Taylor to burn the Bengals again, putting an end to what could have been a mild Bengals dynasty.

Cincinnati spiraled out of control from there, failing to get back to the playoffs until 2005. Head coach Marvin Lewis pushed them to seven playoff runs during his time in Ohio, but the Bengals’ last playoff win is stuck in 1990.

  • Super Bowl Appearances: 1988, 1981
  • Super Bowl Championships: 0
  • AFC North Championships: 2015, 2013, 2009, 2005
  • AFC Central Championships: 1990, 1988, 1981, 1973, 1970
  • Playoff Appearances: 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011, 2009, 2005, 1990, 1988, 1982, 1981, 1975, 1973, 1970

Home Stadium – Paul Brown Stadium

  • Inaugurated: 2000
  • Capacity: 65,515
  • Grass or Turf: Turf

Paul Brown Stadium, aka “The Jungle,” is the third venue for the Bengals during their time in Cincinnati. The first two years, while in the AFL, the team made their home at Nippert Stadium. In 1970, Riverfront Stadium opened and hosted Bengals games for 30 years.

The 101st of “America’s favorite 150 buildings and structures” has won design awards, and only Wrigley Field and Yankee Stadium rank higher than Paul Brown amongst sports venues.

The stadium is named after the Bengals’ founder and first coach, Paul Brown. It is first and foremost used for Bengals games. But over the years, it has also hosted concerts, college football, and even the Queen City Classic Chess Tournament.

  • Stadium Address: Paul Brown Stadium, 1 Paul Brown Stadium, Cincinnati, OH 45202
  • Mailing Address: Cincinnati Bengals, c/o Paul Brown Stadium, 1 Paul Brown Stadium, Cincinnati, OH 45202
  • Phone: 513-455-8471

Cincinnati Bengals Head Coaches

Since 1968, there have only been nine head coaches for the Cincinnati Bengals. That can be shocking to some, considering Cincinnati has zero championships to its name and has made the playoffs just 14 times in team history.

While the Bengals have yet to win the big game, they’ve still had some solid stretches and have certainly had some quality coaches. Here are their best coaches over the years.

Paul Brown

The first was Paul Brown, who started with the AFL and remained through the NFL merger until 1976. Brown was the founder of the AFL Bengals in 1966.

Brown left the Bengals with a 55-56-1 record with three playoff appearances and an 0-3 record. Despite a fifth-place finish in ’69, he was awarded the UPI NFL Coach of the Year in both 1969 and 1970.

Forrest Gregg

The former NFL legend wasn’t a bad coach, either. He turned a struggling Bengals team into a title contender in just four years of work.

Gregg’s second season with the team saw Ken Anderson win NFL MVP and get the Bengals to their first Super Bowl. It ended in a loss, but Gregg goes down in history as the first coach to get Cincy to one of two title games.

Sam Wyche

The other Bengals head coach to get to a Super Bowl was Wyche, who is arguably the greatest Bengals coach ever. Known for his use of the “No Huddle” offense, Wyche produced seven seasons of 7-9 records or better, getting the Bengals into the playoffs two different times.

Wyche’s best run as the shot-caller was undeniably 1988, where he helped Cincinnati reach their second-ever title game. This would go down as Cincy’s best shot at securing the Lombardi Trophy, but Wyche and company were spurned by the legendary Joe Montana in the final minutes of Super Bowl XXIII.

Marvin Lewis

It’s at least arguable that Lewis is the best Bengals head coach, even though he never won a playoff game. Lewis still fielded very competitive Cincinnati teams and reached the playoffs seven different times.

The longest-tenured Bengals coach, Lewis generated six seasons of 10+ wins and won four AFC North division crowns. He goes down as the winningest Bengals head coach in team history, while his departure in the 2019 offseason gave way to a new era with Zac Taylor being named the team’s new head coach.

# Years Coach W-L % Playoffs % Titles
9 2019- Zac Taylor 6-25 .203
8 2003-18 Marvin Lewis 131-122-3 .518 0-7 .000
7 2000-02 Dick LeBeau 12-33 .267
6 1996-00 Bruce Coslet 21-39 .350
5 1992-96 Dave Shula 19-52 .268
4 1985-91 Sam Wyche 61-66 .480 3-2 .600

Cincinnati Bengals’ Last Five Seasons

Season Coach Finish W-L % Playoffs
2020 Zac Taylor 4th 4-11-1 .281
2019 Zac Taylor 4th 2-14 .125
2018 Marvin Lewis 4th 6-10 .375
2017 Marvin Lewis 3rd 7-9 .438
2016 Marvin Lewis 3rd 6-9-1 .406

Cincinnati Bengals’ All-Time Career Leaders

Category Player Stats Years
Passing Yards Ken Anderson 32,838 1971-86
Passing Touchdowns Ken Anderson 197 1971-86
Rushing Yards Corey Dillon 8,061 1997-03
Rushing Touchdowns Pete Johnson 64 1977-83
Receptions Chad Johnson 751 2001-10
Receiving Yards Chad Johnson 10,783 2001-10
Receiving Touchdowns Chad Johnson 66 2001-10
Tackles Tim Krumrie 1,008 1983-94
Sacks Carlos Dunlap 72.5 2010-18
Interceptions Ken Riley 65 1969-83

The Bengals have an underrated history. These stats leaders show the top player in various categories, but Cincinnati has been fortunate to have several quality players at these respective positions.

Andy Dalton may end up breaking all of the team’s passing records, while Carson Palmer may have done exactly that had he stayed with the franchise.

Regardless, there are several iconic players that have played for the Bengals over the years. Here are a few that every fan should know about.

Boomer Esiason

He’s commonly known as Boomer, but Norman Julius Esiason quarterbacked for the Bengals for nine seasons from 1984 through 1992 after being picked in the second round of the 1984 NFL Draft. He played college ball for the University of Maryland and set 17 school records. With the Bengals, he was named the AFC Player of the Year in 1988 as well as the NFL’s Most Valuable Player that same year. He was named to the Pro Bowl four seasons and was First-Team All-Pro in 1988.

Esiason is a lefty who holds many NFL records for left-handed QBs including most touchdown passes at 247, 37,920 passing yards, and 2,969 completions. After the Bengals, Boomer spent three seasons with the Jets and one with the Cardinals before retiring after the 1997 season back with the Bengals. His career stats include a 247-184 TD-INT ratio and 81.1 passer rating.

He’s currently a TV football analyst and radio show host.

Chad Johnson

Chad Ochocinco now goes by Chad Johnson and played ten seasons with the Bengals from 2001-2010. The wide receiver was drafted by Cincinnati in the second round in 2001 out of Oregon State University. Chad holds Bengals franchise records for 751 career receptions, 31 career 100+ yard receiving games, and 10,783 career receiving yards.

He was the 2006 NFL receiving yards leader and was named to the Pro Bowl six times during his career. After the Bengals, he went on to the Patriots and Dolphins for a season each before heading to the Canadian Football League with the Montreal Alouettes. Chad is a member of the 10,000 receiving yards club.

Cris Collinsworth

Cris Collinsworth may be a current television sportscaster with 15 Sports Emmy Awards to his name, but he earned plenty of honors on the field as well. As a wide receiver for the Bengals for his entire NFL career, he was Cincinnati’s first 1,000-yard receiver and finished four seasons with 1,000+ yards.

Before the Bengals, Collinsworth was a First-Team All-American in 1980 with the University of Florida Gators and three-time First-Team All-SEC from 1978-80. He was the Bengals’ second-round pick in 1981. In the NFL, he was selected for three successive Pro Bowls from 1981-83. Collinsworth retired as a player after the ’88 season, and he’s a member of both the University of Florida Athletic and the Bengals.com Halls of Fame.

Ken Anderson

Quarterback Ken Anderson was both a player and a coach for the Bengals organization after being selected by Cincinnati as the 67th overall pick in the 1971 draft. The former Augustana College (Illinois) player was given the starting QB position in 1972 and was the NFL’s passing yards leader in ’74 and ’75 as well as the NFL’s passer rating leader four times.

His first of four Pro Bowl invites began in 1975. The 1981 season was Anderson’s best, though, leading the Bengals to their first Super Bowl appearance and a list of personal awards. He was the NFL’s MVP, Offensive Player of the Year, Comeback Player of the Year, and Man of the Year. He also won the Bert Bell Award as the Maxwell Club’s Player of the Year.

Anderson spent his entire playing career with the Bengals and retired after the 1986 season with a 197-160 TD-INT and 81.9 passer rating. He holds the Bengals franchise record for a 93.5 passer rating in the playoffs and 2,654 career completions. The next phase of his NFL career started in 1993 as a Bengals coach for ten years and then other coaching jobs with the Jags and Steelers.

Anthony Munoz

Anthony Munoz is considered to be one of the greatest offensive linemen in NFL history. He was the Bengals’ third overall pick in the 1980 NFL Draft out of the University of Southern California. For 13 seasons with the Bengals, he was the starting left tackle and only missed three games in 12 years. Munoz made the Pro Bowl Team for 11 straight seasons from 1981-91 and was First-Team All-Pro nine times.

The NFL has awarded Anthony with the 1991 NFL Man of the Year as well as 1980s All-Decade Team and 75th Anniversary All-Time Team designations. While Munoz never earned a Super Bowl ring, he played in both Big Games and was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1998.

Cincinnati Bengals Trivia

The Bengals could have won Super Bowl XXIII, had defensive back Lewis Billups not dropped an easy interception on San Francisco’s final drive of the game.

Anthony Munoz was the first Bengals player inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, just one of three for the franchise.

Dan “Big Daddy” Wilkinson was Cincinnati’s first pick as owners of the #1 selection in an NFL Draft. There only other two picks at first overall are Ki-Jana Carter (1995) and Carson Palmer (2003).

The Bengals have had the league MVP two times. Ken Anderson won the award in 1981, and Boomer Esiason claimed the honor in 1988.

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