The Cincinnati Bengals who play in the AFC North Division of the NFL have a relatively short playing history, having been awarded an American Football League franchise in 1968, although teams with the same name did play in Cincinnati during the 1930s and 1940s.
The Bengals won their first two home games in 1968 against Denver and Buffalo but soon fell away and finished with a 3-11 record, however this was the best performance by a 1960s expansion team and foreshadowed their future success.
The following season they improved to 4-9 and Cincinnati coach Brown was named the AFL Coach of the Year in acknowledgement of their improvement, and in 1970, they won the AFC Central division title. This was the fastest division win by any expansion team however their limitations were exposed in the playoffs where they were were well beaten by eventual Super Bowl Champions the Baltimore Colts.
Cincinnati won AFC Central championship again in 1973 and managed a wild-card berth in the 1975 although they didn’t manage to win a post season game in the 1970s and strugled to get winning seasins for much of this time.
Finally in 1981, the year the Bengals unveiled their new meaner looking uniforms with tiger-stripes on the helmet, jersey and pants this losing record was to change. Having won the AFC Central with a 12-4 record they went on to beat the Buffalo Bills 28-21 in the divisional game and then defeated San Diego 27-7 in the AFC championship game. This the Bengals finally made it to the Super Bowl. In the final, despite a valiant effort. which included becoming the 1st team to score more touch downs than their opponents and lose (3-2) they lost Super Bowl XVI to the San Francisco 49ers, led by Hall of Fame Quarter Back Joe Montana by 26-21. The Luckless Bengals would again meet San Francisco in Super Bowl XXIII, where a last minute Joe Montana Touch Down pass led to another loss 20-16.
Although the Bengals have reached the playoffs three times since they have only managed one further post season victory which was an emphatic wild card win over the Houston Oilers at the start of the nineties.
Cincinnati Bengals Honours
- AFC: 1981, 1988
- AFC Central: 1970, 1973, 1981, 1988, 1990
- AFC North: 2005, 2009
Playoff appearances (9)
- NFL: 1970, 1973, 1975, 1981, 1982, 1988, 1990, 2005, 2009