Planning for the Cincinnati Bengals franchise started three complete years before the team began playing in the American Football league in 1968. Paul Brown, who had enjoyed exceptional success as the head coach the the Cleveland Browns for 17 seasons before departing in 1962, had actually the advice to get earlier into agree football. In 1965, that met through then-Governor Jim Rhodes and the two agreed the state might accommodate a 2nd pro soccer team.
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The 1968 Bengals won their first two home gamings in 28,000-seat Nippert Stadium versus Denver and Buffalo and also finished v a 3-11 record, the most an development team the the 1960s recorded. Cincinnati improved sufficient in 1969 that Brown was called the AFL Coach that the Year. In 1970, they recorded the AFC central division title and also thus ended up being the first expansion team to victory a championship of any type of kind in just three years.
In 1971, the Bengals selected Ken Anderson, a quarterback from little-known Augustana College, in the 3rd round the the draft. Because that the next 16 seasons, Anderson was the an essential man the the Cincinnati offense and also a four-time AFC separation, personal, instance passing champion. Cincinnati winner its second AFC main championship in 1973 and also a wild-card berth in the 1975 playoffs in Brown"s final year together coach. The Bengals missed the playoffs because that the next 5 seasons however won huge in 1981, the year the Bengals unveiled their new uniforms through tiger-striped helmets, jerseys and also pants. Cincinnati, through Forrest Gregg as coach, won the AFC central with a 12-4 record and defeated san Diego 27-7 in the AFC championship game. However, they lost the Super bowl XVI showdown with the mountain Francisco 49ers, 26-21.
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The Bengals had actually a second shot at the super Bowl following the 1988 season when, under Coach Sam Wyche and quarterback Boomer Esiason, they enhanced from the dismal 4-12 document in 1987 to a 12-4 regular-season record. Lock then defeated Buffalo 21-10 because that the AFC championship. But in Super key XXIII, they shed 20-16 come the 49ers ~ above a last-minute touchdown pass by Joe Montana. In addition to Anderson and also Esiason, the Bengals have actually been able to boast of plenty of outstanding players due to the fact that their first game in 1968. None, however, was an ext outstanding than tackle Anthony Muñoz, a first-round draft choose in 1981. A perennial all-pro choice, the USC graduate was selected to play in 11 right Pro Bowls native 1982 to 1992 and also was inducted right into the pro Football room of fame in 1998.