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Cincinnati Bengals Team History

Professional football returned to Cincinnati Ohio in 1967 when Paul Brown headed an ownership group which landed an expansion franchise in the modern-era American Football League.

Brown, a Pro Football Hall of Famer who founded and coached the Cleveland Browns from 1946-62, picked the name Bengals for the new team "to give it a link with past professional football in Cincinnati." Hundreds of names were suggested by fans in an effort to name the new Cincinnati team, the most popular being Buckeyes. It was rejected to avoid confusion with the Ohio State Buckeyes. The Bengals began play in the AFL in 1968. The AFL merged with the NFL in 1970, and the Bengals have been members ever since.

The Cincinnati Bengals are a member of the AFC North division.

Cincinnati Bengals Chronological History

The Bengals joined a new AFL, finishing in second place with a 6-2 record. But again, the league folded after the season.
Another new AFL emerged, and again the Bengals joined. They recorded 1-7-0 and 1-5-2 marks in 1940 and 1941, respectively. That AFL suffered the fate of the two AFLs before it, folding after the 1941 season as the United States entered World World II. Only this time, the Bengals folded along with it.
Pro football returned to Cincinnati after 26 years hiatus when Paul Brown headed an ownership group which landed an expansion franchise in the modern-era American Football League. Brown, a Pro Football Hall of Famer who founded and coached the Cleveland Browns from 1946-62, picked the name Bengals for the new team "to give it a link with past professional football in Cincinnati."
The current incarnation of the Bengals joined a different AFL.
The Bengals join the NFL when the AFL and NFL merge. In their very first NFL season, the team won the AFC Central Division.
The Bengals qualify for postseason.
They qualify for postseason play yet again.
The Bengals win the division crown.
Super Bowl XVI Lost to San Francisco 49ers, 26-21
Boomer Esiason replaces Ken Anderson as QB and goes on to become an NFL star player.
Super Bowl XXIII Lost to San Francisco 49ers, 20-16
The team finished with a 12-4 win-loss record. Esiason wins the first of two NFC passing titles and also wins player of the year honors. The Bengals qualify for the Super Bowl but fall to the San Francisco 49er's when they score a last minute touchdown.
Cincinnati won its fifth division title. Esiason notched his sixth consecutive 3,000 yard season, a club record. The Bengals won a total of just 11 games from 1992 to 1994, and the team continued to struggle for much of the rest of the 1990s.
David Shula (son of legendary Miami Dolphins' coach Don Shula) was promoted from WR position coach to head coach in 1992 as the youngest NFL head coach.
Former Bengals' tight end, and long-time offensive coordinator, Bruce Coslet took over the coaching duties midway through the 1996 season and coached the Bengals through the first three games of the 2000 season, losing his last game to the Baltimore Ravens 37-0. Coslet won 21 and lost 39 as Bengals' head coach.
the Bengals designed a logo consisting of a leaping tiger, and it was added to the uniform sleeves. Another alternate logo consisted of a Bengal's head facing to the left. However, the orange helmet with black tiger stripes continued to be the team's primary trademark.
Jon Kitna had a comeback year (voted NFL Comeback Player of the Year)
Carson Palmer was promoted to starting quarterback the following season and Kitna, apparently happily, took the position of backup quarterback and embraced the role of mentor for the young quarterback.
Chris Henry fall sout of a pickup truck during a domestic dispute and died from his injuries
The biggest 2010 acquisition for the Bengals was veteran WR Terrell Owens, signed in July. This move was controversial, as Owens was quite old at 36 and had caused considerable problems while playing in San Francisco, Philadelphia, and Dallas. Perhaps more controversial was the signing of CB Adam "Pacman" Jones, who had been involved in a shooting at a Las Vegas nightclub in 2007.
Carson Palmer demands to be traded to another team. Mike Brown flatly refused to either release or trade him, and Palmer instead announced his plans to retire from the NFL.
Cincinnati Bengals look to have their most successful season in history. They clinch the AFC North title with an 11-5 record only to fall to the San Diego Chargers 27-10 after having a 10 - 7 halftime lead.

Cincinnati Bengals Franchise Information

  • Franchise Granted: 1968
  • First Season: 1968
  • Franchise History:
  • 1968 - 1969 Cincinnati Bengals (AFL)
  • 1970 - Present (NFL)

Paul Brown selected the name because there had once been a pro football team in Cincinnati named the Bengals and adopting that name "would provide a link with past professional football in Cincinnati."

Cincinnati Bengals - Stadium

Cincinnati Bengals Stadium

One Paul Brown Stadium

Cincinnati, Ohio 45202
Surface Grass
Seating 65,600
Opened Sept. 10, 2000
Phone (513) 621-3550
Fax (513) 621-3570
Cincinnati Bengals

Previous Stadiums

Nippert Stadium (26,500) 1968-69
Cinergy Field (60,389) 1970-99
** Renamed to Riverfront Stadium 1970-96

Cincinnati Bengals

Cincinnati Bengals history

League Championships


Conference Championships

1981 (AFC), 1988 (AFC)

Division Championships

1981 (AFC North), 1988 (AFC North)

Wild Card Wins

1990 (AFC North)

Years in Playoffs

1970, 1973, 1975, 1981, 1982, 1988, 1990, 2005, 2009, 2011, 2012, 2013


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

Retired Numbers

#54 Bob Johnson

Hall of Fame Members

Paul Brown
1968, 1969, 1970, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1974, 1975
Forrest Gregg
1980, 1981, 1982, 1983
Charlie Joiner
1972, 1973, 1974, 1975
Anthony Munoz
1980, 1981, 1982, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1986, 1987, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1992
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Ravens @ BengalsBengals2.5
Texans @ TitansTitans3
Panthers @ BuccaneersBuccaneers6
Browns @ SteelersSteelers7
Cowboys @ EaglesEagles6
Bills @ JetsBills6
Bears @ VikingsVikings5.5
Jaguars @ ColtsColts4.5
Patriots @ DolphinsPatriots9.5
Chiefs @ ChargersChiefs4.5
Cardinals @ RamsCardinals6
Raiders @ BroncosBroncos2.5
Giants @ RedskinsRedskins8
Seahawks @ 49ersSeahawks10
Saints @ FalconsFalcons7
Packers @ LionsPackers3
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