Cincinnati Bengals

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Posted by pompos 03/06/2009 @ 14:09

Tags : cincinnati bengals, american football conference, nfl, football, sports

News headlines
HBO comes knocking on the Bengals - Kansas City Star
If there's one team that probably should avoid the scrutiny of ubiqitious cameras and microphones, it's the Cincinnati Bengals. No team in the NFL has had more off-field incidents, arrests and days in court during the past few years than Cincinnati....
Veteran ORT To Retire - Patriots Insider
Anderson signed a three-year, $10 million deal with the Ravens last September being released by the Cincinnati Bengals on August 30. Anderson, who was dealing with knee problems recently, was originally drafted by the Bengals in the first round of the...
Cincinnati Bengals: Open letter to Rey Maualuga - Bleacher Report
See for yourself in my open letter to Cincinnati's newest linebacker. Bengals fans are happy to have you, but you can't blame them if they are a bit nervous. This is a town that has seen the actions of some its players turn the team into the butt of...
Sports Digest - Louisville Courier-Journal
CINCINNATI -- The NFL has agreed to let the player formerly known as Chad Johnson wear his new last name on the back of his jersey this season. There's one catch for the Cincinnati Bengals' receiver: It's not exactly how he wanted it....
Bengals sign ex-Cowboy safety Roy Williams - Yahoo! Sports
Safety Roy Williams, who horse-collared his way out of Dallas, will formally join the Cincinnati Bengals Thursday, according to the Cincinnati Enquirer. The team will formally announce Williams' signing Thursday. The sides are expected to agree to a...
Playbook Changes: Bengals Want Less Finesse, More Power - Bleacher Report
by Dave Biddle (Contributor) However, in 2009, the Bengals are intent on establishing themselves as a more-physical team and their playbook will likely reflect it. Cincinnati plays in the rough-and-tumble AFC North that includes the Pittsburgh Steelers...
Cincinnati Bengals 53 Man Roster Projections - Bleacher Report
by Martin Smith (Contributor) It's that time of year, Bengals Fans: Time to speculate who is in, who is out, and who is barely hanging on. Without further delay, here are my picks for the Bengals opening day roster. 1. Carson Palmer- The franchise and...
Bengals rookie Smith opts not to fire agent - NFL News
Cincinnati Bengals offensive tackle Andre Smith has decided not to fire agent Rick Smith after a conversation Wednesday morning, Rick Smith said. “Our relationship is as strong as it ever was,” Smith said. “Andre Smith is a good kid and he's always...
Former Rutgers standout Brian Leonard traded to Cincinnati Bengals - The Star-Ledger - NJ.com
The St. Louis Rams traded former Rutgers fullback Brian Leonard to the Cincinnati Bengals on Thursday, according to a Cincinnati Enquirer report. Leonard, a fullback who will be entering his third season in the NFL, is one of the most beloved and...

Cincinnati Bengals

Cincinnati Bengals helmet

The Cincinnati Bengals are a professional American football team based in Cincinnati, Ohio. It is currently a member of the North Division of the American Football Conference (AFC) in the National Football League (NFL). Their first season, 1968, was as an American Football League franchise, but they joined the NFL as part of the 1970 AFL-NFL Merger, which had actually been agreed to in 1966. During that time, they have never won a Super Bowl.

The Bengals currently conduct summer training camp at Georgetown College in Georgetown, Kentucky and play home games at Paul Brown Stadium in Downtown Cincinnati.

In 1966, Paul Brown wanted to become involved in professional football again. James A. Rhodes, then the governor of Ohio, convinced Brown that Ohio needed a second team. Cincinnati was deemed the logical choice, in essence, splitting the state.

Brown named the team the Bengals in order "to give it a link with past professional football in Cincinnati." Another Bengals team existed in the city and played in a three previous American Football Leagues from 1937 to 1942. The city's renowned zoo was also home to a rare white Bengal Tiger. However, possibly as an insult to Art Modell, Paul Brown chose the exact shade of orange used by his former team. He added black as the secondary color. Brown chose a very simple logo: the word "BENGALS" in black lettering. Ironically, one of the potential helmet designs Brown rejected was a striped motif that was similar to the helmets adopted by the team in 1981 and which is still in use to this day; however, that design featured orange stripes on a black helmet which were more uniform in width.

However, Brown was not a supporter of the rival American Football League, stating that "I didn't pay ten million dollars to be in the AFL." . He only acquiesced to joining the AFL when he was guaranteed that the team would become an NFL franchise after the impending merger of the two leagues.

There was also a complication: the Major League Baseball Cincinnati Reds were in need of a facility to replace the antiquated, obsolete Crosley Field, which they had used since 1912. Parking nightmares had plagued the city as far back as the 1950s, the little park lacked modern amenities, and New York City, which in 1957 had lost both their National League teams, the Dodgers and the Giants to Los Angeles and San Francisco, respectively, were actively courting Powel Crosley. However, Crosley was adamant that the Reds remain in Cincinnati and tolerated worsening problems with the Crosley Field location, which were increased with the Millcreek Expressway (I-75) project that ran alongside the park.

With assistance from Ohio governor James A. Rhodes, Hamilton County and the Cincinnati city council agreed to build a single multi-purpose facility on the dilapidated riverfront section of the city. The new facility had to be ready by the opening of the 1970 NFL season and was officially named Riverfront Stadium, which was its working title.

With the completion of the merger in 1970, the Cleveland Browns were moved to the AFL-based American Football Conference and placed in the AFC Central, the same division as the Bengals. An instant rivalry was born, fueled initially by Paul Brown's rivalry with Art Modell.

For their inaugural season they played at Nippert Stadium which is the current home of the University of Cincinnati Bearcats. The team finished its first season with a 3–11 record, although one bright spot was running back Paul Robinson. Robinson rushed for 1,023 yards and was named the AFL Rookie of the Year.

Founder Paul Brown coached the team for its first eight seasons. One of Brown’s college draft strategies was to draft players with above average intelligence. Punter/wide receiver Pat McInally attended Harvard and linebacker Reggie Williams attended Dartmouth College and served on Cincinnati city council while on the Bengals’ roster. Because of this policy, many former players were highly articulate and went on to have successful careers in commentary and broadcasting as well as the arts. In addition, Brown had a knack for locating and recognizing pro football talent in unusual places.

In the '70s the Bengals moved to play at Riverfront Stadium, a home they shared with the Cincinnati Reds until the team moved to Paul Brown Stadium in 2000. The team would reach the playoffs three times during that decade, but could not win any of those postseason games. In 1975, the team posted an 11-3 record, giving them what is to this day the highest winning percentage (.786) in franchise history. But it only earned them a Wild Card spot in the playoffs, behind the 12–2 Pittsburgh Steelers, who went on to win the Super Bowl, and Bengals lost to the Oakland Raiders 31–28 in the divisional playoffs.

The Bengals would reach the Super Bowl twice during the 1980s, but lost both times to the San Francisco 49ers. Then after appearing in the playoffs in 1990, Paul Brown died. He had already transferred control to his son, Mike Brown, but was reported to still influence the daily operations of the team. The Bengals' fortunes changed for the worse as the team would post 14 consecutive non-winning seasons. The Bengals began to emerge from that dismal period into a new era of increased consistency after hiring Marvin Lewis as head coach in 2003. Carson Palmer, the future star quarterback, was drafted in 2003 but did not play a snap that whole season, as Jon Kitna had a comeback year (voted NFL Comeback Player of the Year). Despite Kitna's success, Carson was promoted to starting quarterback the following season. Under Carson, the team advanced to the playoffs for the first time since 1990 in the 2005 season, which marked the first time the team had a winning percentage above .500 since 1990.

Meanwhile, Paul Brown Stadium was built for the 2000 season using private and public money. In tribute to his father, Mike Brown refused corporate offers to have the stadium renamed for their company which became a trend in the NFL and other sports teams around that time.

Under the ownership of Mike Brown, the Bengals remain one of five NFL teams without a General Manager--the other four being the Dallas Cowboys (with owner Jerry Jones legally serving as his own GM), the New England Patriots, the Oakland Raiders (with owner Al Davis in a similar capacity to Jones) and the Washington Redskins (with Daniel Snyder in a similar role to Mike Brown and serving as the de facto GM without the title).

When the team debuted in 1968, the Bengals' uniforms were modeled after the Cleveland Browns. When Paul Brown was fired by Art Modell, Brown still had ownership of the equipment used by Cleveland. So after the firing, Paul Brown packed up all his equipment, which he then used for his new team in Cincinnati. The Cleveland Browns' team colors were orange, brown and white, and their helmets were solid orange with a white dorsal stripe over the crest.

The Bengals' team colors were orange, black and white, and their helmets were a similar shade of orange, with the only variations being the word "Bengals" in block letters on either side of the helmet and no stripe on the helmet. The Cincinnati Bengals were unique in the NFL as they did not have uniform numbers on the players sleeves until the 1980 season.

The team did not discard their Cleveland-like uniforms until 1981. During that year, a then-unique uniform design was introduced. Although the team kept black jerseys, white jerseys, and white pants, they were now trimmed with orange and black tiger stripes. The team also introduced orange helmets with black tiger stripes.

In 1997, the Bengals designed an alternate logo consisting of a leaping tiger, and it was added to the uniform sleeves. They also designed an alternate logo consisting 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.

In 2004, a new tiger stripe pattern and more accents were added to the uniforms. The black jerseys now featured orange sleeves, while the white jerseys began to use black sleeves and orange shoulders. A new logo consisting of an orange "B" covered with black tiger stripes was introduced. The team also started rotating black pants and debuted an alternate orange jersey.

The Bengals have primarily worn their black uniforms at home throughout their history, except during the 1970 and 1971 seasons, when the Bengals wore white at home for the entire season. In 2001 and 2002 the Bengals wore white at home for preseason games as well as September home games due to the heat. Since 2005, the Bengals only wear white during early September home games.

The tactic was used by the franchise from the late 80s while Sam Wyche was the coach. The main rivals for AFC supremacy were the Buffalo Bills, coached by Marv Levy. Most of the high-profile games (the various games for AFC Conference titles and regular season games) between the two led to these changes in NFL rules.

The West Coast Offense, which is commonly employed by many teams (most notably, it was used by San Francisco during their dynasty, and the Buffalo Bills during their domination of the AFC) is the popular name for the high-percentage passing scheme designed by former Bengals assistant Bill Walsh. This play scheme was used by Ken Anderson during the Bengals' initial Super Bowl run.

Mike Brown, the current owner of the Bengals, named the new stadium after his Pro Football Hall of Famer father, Paul Brown, resisting offers to sell the naming rights for the stadium.

As of 2008, the Bengals flagship radio stations are WCKY, "1530 The Homer" and WEBN-FM, with WLW AM 700 joining in following the end of the Reds' season. Brad Johansen and former Bengals offensive lineman Dave Lapham, who started in 1985, form the announcing team. Most preseason and regular season games, are telecast on WKRC-TV, channel 12, the CBS affiliate. Paul Keels and Anthony Munoz are the TV announcers for the preseason games. Games that feature an NFC opponent playing at Paul Brown Stadium will be televised on WXIX, channel 19, the local FOX affiliate.

Phil Samp was the Bengals original play-by-play announcer from 1968-1990. Ken Broo (1991-1995), Paul Keels (1996) and Pete Arbogast (1997-2000) have also done radio play-by-play for the Bengals.

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History of the Cincinnati Bengals

Paul Brown Stadium in Cincinnati, home of the Bengals.

This article details the history of the Cincinnati Bengals American football club.

In 1967 a Cincinnati-based ownership group led by Paul Brown was granted a franchise in the American Football League.

As the founder and head coach of the Cleveland Browns from 1946 to 1962, Brown led his team to a .759 winning percentage and seven championships, which includes four championships earned while a member of the All-America Football Conference. The Browns were champions of that league in each of the four years it existed. When the AAFC folded after the 1949 season, the Browns, as well as the San Francisco 49ers and the first incarnation of the Baltimore Colts, were absorbed into the National Football League.

Brown became a recognized innovator for his approach to training, game planning, and the passing game. However, Brown sold majority interest in the team in 1961 to businessman Art Modell. On January 9, 1963, Modell controversially fired Brown. Many believe that Modell had tired of complaints of Brown's autocratic style; others claim it was Brown's decision to trade for Syracuse University's Heisman Trophy-winning running back Ernie Davis, who was drafted by the Washington Redskins, without Modell's knowledge. However, tragically, Davis was diagnosed with leukemia shortly afterward. Brown didn't want to play Davis; Modell insisted he could play. The relationship between Paul Brown and Art Modell, which was never warm to begin with, deteriorated further. Davis died on May 18, 1963.

By 1966, Paul Brown wanted to become involved in professional football again. James A. Rhodes, then the governor of Ohio, convinced Brown that Ohio needed a second team. Cincinnati was deemed the logical choice, in essence, splitting the state.

Brown named the team the Bengals in order "to give it a link with past professional football in Cincinnati." Another Bengals team existed in the city and played in a previous American Football League from 1937 to 1942. Possibly as an insult to Art Modell, Paul Brown chose the exact shade of orange used by his former team. He added black as the secondary color. Brown chose a very simple logo: the word "BENGALS" in black lettering. Ironically, one of the potential helmet designs Brown rejected was a striped motif that was similar to the one featuring the "varicose pumpkin" helmets adopted by the team in 1981 and which is still in use to this day; however, that design featured orange stripes on a black helmet which were more uniform in width.

However, Brown was not a supporter of the rival American Football League, stating that "I didn't pay ten million dollars to be in the AFL", . He only acquiesced to joining the AFL when he was guaranteed that the team would become an NFL franchise after the impending merger of the two leagues.

There was also a complication: the Major League Baseball Cincinnati Reds were in need of a facility to replace the antiquated, obsolete Crosley Field, which they had used since 1912. Parking nightmares had plagued the city as far back as the 1950s, the little park lacked modern amenities, and New York City, which in 1956 had lost both their National League teams, the Dodgers and the Giants to Los Angeles and San Francisco, respectively, was actively courting Powel Crosley. However, Crosley was adamant that the Reds remain in Cincinnati and tolerated worsening problems with the Crosley Field location, which were increased with the Millcreek Expressway (I-75) project that ran alongside the park.

With assistance from Ohio governor James A. Rhodes, Hamilton County and the Cincinnati city council agreed to build a single multi-purpose facility on the dilapidated riverfront section of the city. The new facility had to be ready by the opening of the 1970 NFL season and was officially named Riverfront Stadium, which was its working title.

With the completion of the merger in 1970, the Cleveland Browns were moved to the AFL-based American Football Conference and placed in the AFC Central, the same division as the Bengals. An instant rivalry was born, fueled initially by Paul Brown's rivalry with Art Modell.

For their first two seasons, they played at Nippert Stadium which is the current home of the University of Cincinnati Bearcats. The team finished its first season with a 3-11 record, although one bright spot was running back Paul Robinson. Robinson rushed for 1,023 yards and was named the AFL Rookie of the Year.

Founder Paul Brown coached the team for its first three seasons, accumulating 15 wins and 27 losses and one tie. One of Brown’s college draft stategies was to draft players with above average intelligence. Punter/wide receiver Pat McInally attended Harvard, and linebacker Reggie Williams attended Dartmouth College and served on Cincinnati city council while on the Bengals’ roster. Because of this policy, many former players were highly articulate and went on to have successful careers in commentary and broadcasting as well as the arts. In addition, Brown had a knack for locating and recognizing pro football talent in unusual places.

In 1970, the Bengals moved to play at Riverfront Stadium, a home they shared with the Cincinnati Reds until the team moved to Paul Brown Stadium in 2000.

The Bengals were an entertaining and successful team reaching the Super Bowl twice, but overall, the 1980s was a decade of missed opportunities for the team.

Paul Brown, legendary NFL personality and innovator, died in 1991. He had already transferred control to his son, Mike Brown, but was reported to still influence the daily operations of the team. Shortly after his passing, the Bengals' fortunes changed for the worse for a long time.

The Bengals began to emerge from more than a decade of being the worst-performing team of that era (edging out the Cardinals) into a new era of increased consistency under Marvin Lewis. Carson Palmer, the future star quarterback, was drafted in 2003 but did not play a snap that whole season, as Jon Kitna had a comeback year (voted NFL Comeback Player of the Year). Despite Kitna's success, Carson 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.

Paul Brown Stadium was built for the 2000 season using private and public money. In tribute to his father, Mike Brown refused corporate offers to have the stadium renamed for their company which became a trend in the NFL and other sports team around that time.

During the 2005 season the Bengals became known for their players' off-field and non-football related violations of league substance policies and legal troubles.

The Bengals have played the Steelers more than any other team in the NFL (the Browns missed keeping pace by being out of the league for three years, the Oilers/Titans team was moved from the division, and the Baltimore Ravens are considered a "new" franchise as Cleveland retained its rights to the name and history). While the Bengals were in the midst of a terrible decade the intensity of the rivalries tapered off.

Dick LeBeau lost his job as head coach after winning just two games throughout the 2002 season. LeBeau went 12-33 as head coach. His last season was a franchise worst 2-14 and had the worst winning percentage of all non-interim Bengal coaches of 26.67%. He returned to Pittsburgh as the defensive coordinator.

Current head coach Marvin Lewis won 8 and lost 8 in both the 2003 and 2004 seasons. He secured the 1st winning season (11-5) for the Bengal's franchise since 1991-92 playoff. He has introduced season "themes", from "Do Your Job" in 2004-05 to "Keep on Digging" 2003-04.

This year neither team's home field advantage proved advantageous. In the series the home team lost every game. The Steelers defeated the Bengals in the wild-card playoff game, 31–17.

Like the previous years Marvin and his staff developed a theme to rally around, this time it was The Pyramid (a listing of qualities developed by the successful former UCLA basketball coach John Wooden). During the offseason the Bengals made very few free-agent acquisitions and a large number of drafted players (or new ones to the team) were not positioned as starters which is considered a sign of an established team instead of one in the midst of rebuilding (as there was considerable player turnover in the first few years under Marvin). There were concerns about many players' personal legal troubles which kept them in the news but one of the biggest concerns was Carson Palmer's ability to rebound from the serious knee injury he suffered in the playoffs to Pittsburgh.

As the preparations were being made for the season, the Bengals went undefeated at 4-0 for the first time in preseason games and went on to win their first three games, including winning the first two intradivision games versus the Cleveland Browns and Pittsburgh Steelers. The team lost quite a few players of value during these first weeks, due to injury or suspension causing many of the rookies, originally not intended to start, into starting roles. In the fourth week, Cincinnati lost a one-sided game to the New England Patriots at home.

Coming out of their early bye, the team went to Tampa, Florida to face the winless Buccaneers and went home with a 13–14 loss. In week seven, the Bengals would face the Carolina Panthers at home, managing the win. Cincinnati went on to lose their next three games against the Atlanta Falcons, Baltimore Ravens, and San Diego Chargers. During the San Diego game, however, the team had a memorable offensive experience. Carson Palmer threw for a career-high 440 passing yards. Chad Johnson also set a franchise record of 260 receiving yards in a single game.

The team went to New Orleans in week 11 to face the Saints and ended their losing streak. Chad Johnson had 190 receiving yards in that game, along with 3 touchdowns. The Bengals continued to improve their playoff chances when they went to Cleveland to face the Browns. They were on the winning side of the second shutout in the history of the Battle of Ohio with the final score 30-0. Carson Palmer threw three touchdown passes and 275 passing yards. The previously struggling Bengals' defense recorded four interceptions, four sacks, and two forced fumbles. With this win they got themselves back to a winning record of 6-5.

The Bengals would win two more games against Baltimore and Oakland before the win streak ended with a loss to Indianapolis. The Bengals then lost to Denver 24-23 the following week on a snowy Sunday when Brad St. Louis' long snap on an extra point in the final minute sailed through the hands of holder Kyle Larson, preventing Shayne Graham from even attempting the conversion.

In week 17, The Bengals lost in overtime to the Pittsburgh Steelers 23–17, thus ending any possibility of post-season play. Chris Henry gained 124 receiving yards and he scored a touchdown. Shayne Graham missed a 38-yard field goal on the last Bengals' play in regulation with 0:08 left on the clock. The Bengals were eliminated by losing to the Steelers by a Santonio Holmes touchdown reception on the third play of the extra session. Cincinnati ended the season at 8–8.

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2006 Cincinnati Bengals season

The 2006 Cincinnati Bengals season began with the team trying to improve on their 11-5 record in 2005, defending their AFC North Division Championship title, and progress further through the playoffs than they made in the 2005 season having lost to Pittsburgh in the 1st round after losing star quarterback Carson Palmer to injury on the second play of the game.

Jan 10 Signed S Tony Bua from the practice squad. Feb 1 Signed WR P.K. Sam (Free Agent from New England Patriots). Feb 7 Signed QB Doug Johnson (Free Agent from Tennessee Titans). Feb 13 Signed LB Rashad Jeanty (Free Agent from CFL team Edmonton Eskimos). Mar 10 Terminated contract of DE Duane Clemons. Mar 13 Signed S Dexter Jackson (Unrestricted Free Agent from Tampa Bay Buccaneers). Mar 21 Signed WR Antonio Chatman (Unrestricted Free Agent from Green Bay Packers). Mar 31 Terminated the contract of S Kim Herring. Apr 3 Signed DT Sam Adams (Unrestricted Free Agent from Buffalo Bills). Apr 21 Signed QB Anthony Wright (Unrestricted Free Agent from Baltimore Ravens).

Exceeding expectations Carson Palmer was able to play on his reconstructed ligaments in only 8 months.

Carson's fame was boosted by a favorable interview with Sports Illustrated documenting his recovery progress.

There was a minor controversy when it appeared that Marvin Lewis wanted Carson to play in the preseason earlier than Carson said. The controversy was dismissed by Lewis as miscommunication and sensationalism by the media.

The entire Marvin Lewis staff returns in 2006 intact.

The lawsuit introduced by a city council member charging the Bengals' organization with making the deal in bad faith was dropped.

The Bengals opened the regular season on the road against the Kansas City Chiefs on September 10. The Chiefs scored first on a 29-yard field goal by opposing kicker Lawrence Tynes. However, in the second quarter, the Bengals exploded with 17-straight points. Kicker Shayne Graham tied the game up with a 37-yard field goal, then RB Rudi Johnson ran 22 yards for a touchdown, and RB Kenny Watson ran 8 yards for a TD, making the score 17-3 at halftime. After both sides failed to score in the third quarter, a third quarter marked by Trent Green getting tackled so hard that he did not remember it (and subsequently resulted in his removal from the game), Bengals kicker Shayne Graham made the score 20-3 with a 42-yard field goal. Afterwards, the Chiefs tried to come back with a 9-yard TD pass from opposing back-up QB Damon Huard to opposing TE Tony Gonzalez. Fortunately, a 36-yard field goal by Graham would put the game away in favor of the Bengals.

The Bengals began Round 1 of 2006's Battle of Ohio in the Week 2 home-opener against the Cleveland Browns. Cincinnati started off with QB Carson Palmer throwing a 22-yard TD pass to WR Kelley Washington. The Browns would respond with a 30-yard FG by opposing Kicker Phil Dawson. Fortunately, the Bengals would further their lead with Palmer throwing an 8-yard TD pass to WR Chad Johnson. In the second quarter, Kicker Shayne Graham kicked a 37-yard field goal as time ran out in the half to give Cincinnati a 17-3 halftime lead. There wouldn't be any scoring in the third quarter, but in the fourth, points were flying everywhere. Graham would give the Bengals a 37-yard field goal, but then, the Browns responded with a 1-yard TD run by opposing RB Reuben Droughns. Fortunately, two TD runs by RB Rudi Johnson (a 1-yarder and a 9-yarder) helped put the game out of reach. The Browns would get one more touchdown with opposing QB Charlie Frye scoring on a 2-yard run, but the game belonged to the Bengals.

There were several injuries to Bengal players in starting positions. David Pollack, a 2nd year linebacker, suffered a non-paralysis broken neck (fracture of the C6 vertabrae) and was out for the rest of the season, and potentially for his career. Offseason free agent veteran acquisition, Dexter Jackson, had a severe ankle sprain and the amount of time he would be lost was not clear. Long time Bengal center, Rich Braham also suffered a leg injury and was expected to be out for some weeks. Popular receiving star, Chad Johnson had a few incidents that appeared to hamper him. On his 8-yard touchdown pass his shoulder was injured (noticeable by his unenthusiastic post-score celebratory dance) and, even though he continued to play, appeared to be in pain. Later in the game, during an intercepted pass by the Browns, he was blindsided hit by Brown's safety causing a concussion. A special team starter, Tab Perry, was also injured (hip) and appears to be out for a few games.

The loss of so many starting players and possible unavailability of other key players is a concern for the upcoming game at Pittsburgh.

The Bengals maintained their shared lead in the AFC North (3-0, 2-0) by defeating the Pittsburgh Steelers 28-20 at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The game was marred by sloppy play by both teams, however Cincinnati benefitted greatly by creating 5 Steeler turnovers and blocking a Jeff Reed field goal attempt.

Pittsburgh appeared to be well on their way to a win, with Willie Parker scoring a touchdown on their first drive of the game. Following a Deshea Townsendinterception of Carson Palmer, the Steelers again drove into the redzone, however a Ben Roethlisberger pass was intercepted by Madieu Williams in the end zone and returned to the three-yard line.

The change in momentum was evident as the Bengals marched 97 yards capped by a 16 yard touchdown pass from Palmer to Chris Henry. Following a blocked field goal by John Thornton, Palmer and Henry would reconnect in the endzone late in the second quarter giving Cincinnati a 14-7 lead at the half.

In the third quarter Pittsburgh took back the momentum, scoring a field goal on their first drive followed by an Ike Taylor interception of Palmer on the Bengals' first drive of the half, setting up the Steelers on the Bengals' 7. Parker scored 4 plays later giving the Steelers a 17-14 lead.

After the touchdown, neither offense could get on track with the next seven drives ending in either punts or turnovers. With 8 minutes left in the game, the Bengals were forced to punt. A muffed return by Ricardo Colclough and subsequent recovery by the Bengals' Tony Stewart gave the Bengals the ball on the Steelers' 9. Palmer connect with T. J. Houshmandzadeh on the first play from scrimmage giving the Bengals a 21-17 lead. The Bengal defense responded by forcing a fumble on the next Steeler drive, giving the offense the ball on the Steeler 30-yard line. On the first play of the drive, Palmer again went to Houshmandzadeh in the end zone, connecting for a 30 yard touchdown and extending the lead to 28-17. The Steeler offense returned on the next possession, driving to the Bengals' 18 and adding another Jeff Reed field goal. After forcing a Bengal 3-and-out, the Steelers received the ball on their own 11 with 2:42 to play in the game. Roethlisberger was able to drive the Steelers down to the Bengals' 16 yard line, however the game effectively ended when a pass intended for Nate Washington in the end zone was intercepted by Kevin Kaesviharn.

The Bengals showed maturity and patience in an important win against the Steelers. However, the Bengals allowed 6 sacks, gave up 3 turnovers and were unable to involve either of the "Johnsons" as a significant part of the offense. The Bengals looked to improve in week 4 at home against the Patriots.

Odell Thurman was arrested for a DUI with teammates Chris Henry and Reggie McNeal in the vehicle. Odell had just entered the 3rd game of a 4 game suspension for violating the NFL's drug policy. The NFL suspended him for the remainder of the season.

The Bengals quarterback protection issues seemed to continue as Palmer was sacked an additional four times during this game. This is a major change to last year's success in that area where Palmer was sacked only 21 times for the entire year. Already, this year, he's been sacked 16 times. For the offense and defense the running game proved problematic. Rudi Johnson failed to gain 50 yards on the ground while the Patriots' running backs, former Bengal Corey Dillon and rookie RB Laurence Maroney, combined for 192 rushing yards. Even Patriots QB Tom Brady uncharacteristically got into the act with a 22-yard scamper, even though he's usually considered a run-shy player. Caleb Miller started in the right linebacker position and lead the Bengals in tackles during this game.

The passing offense for the Bengals appeared largely unsuccessful. Although WR T.J. Houshmandzadeh gained 94 yards, his starting counterpart, WR Chad Johnson, did not gain more than 70. WR Chris Henry was deactivated for the game for what is believed to be a disciplinary measure by Head Coach Marvin Lewis for his involvement in Odell Thurman's DUI incident.

This was the 1st game that Corey Dillon played at Paul Brown Stadium as a non-Bengal during a regular season game. His controversial behavior in his latter years with the Bengals made him a target for anger for many Bengals' fans. According to post-game reports, Dillon waved the rookie running back off the field when the Patriots were close to scoring a touchdown so Dillon could run it in himself. When he did he threw the football into the stands and proceeded to celebrate with such length and production, he drew a flag for a personal foul from the referees. Typically an NFL ball that made it to stands is considered a rare souvenir, but because of Dillon's reputation within the Bengals' fan base, the ball was rejected by the fans and tossed back onto the field instead.

The Cincinnati Bengals fell to second place in the AFC North (3-1) after a disappointing loss to the New England Patriots 38-13. Going into the bye-week, there is an expectation of the extra weekend will give some injured Bengals the time they need to return and play. Historically speaking, Lewis has done a great job with the 1st game after a bye having won the majority of those games but as coach for the Bengals his record to this point was 1-2.

The NFL determined Chris Henry would be suspended for the next 2 NFL games due to his involvement with the DUI incident involving Odell Thurman.

Hoping to rebound from their home loss to the Patriots, the Bengals flew to Raymond James Stadium for a Week 6 fight with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. After a scoreless first quarter, Cincinnati took an early lead, as QB Carson Palmer completed a 33-yard TD pass to WR T.J. Houshmandzadeh for the only score of the half. In the third quarter, the Bucs would tie the game, as QB Bruce Gradkowski completed a 2-yard TD pass to TE Alex Smith, but the Bengals would regain the lead as kicker Shayne Graham kicked a 37-yard field goal. In the fourth quarter, Graham would help Cincinnati increase the lead with a 47-yard field goal. During the last drive for the Buccaneers, on 1st down after penetrating the Bengals' 20 yard line close to scoring, DE Justin Smith apparently made the first sack of Gradkowski for the game during a solo tackle, however, the officiating crew felt Smith tackled the QB in such a way as to have driven the QB's head into the ground and penalized the Bengals for roughing the passer. The call is currently being reviewed by the league but a public statement will probably never be made by the NFL officiating committee if the call was errant or not (the NFL later reviewed the play and sent a letter of apology to the Bengals for the bad call). During the apparent sack, Smith caused a fumble which was recovered by the Bengals, with less than 2 minutes left on the clock and the Bucs with no time outs. When the play was overturned due to the controversial call, Tampa Bay managed to win on an 8-yard TD pass from Gradkowski to WR Michael Clayton later in the drive. Originally, it was ruled incomplete, but replay reviews managed to see that Clayton managed to break the plane of the goal line before losing the ball. With less than 1:30 minutes left in the game the Bengals drove from their 30 to the Bucs' side of the field and tried an extremely long 62-yard field goal against the prevailing winds and missed. With the loss, Cincinnati hold a 3-2 record. Lewis' win/loss ratio after the bye with the Bengals fell to 1-3.

Other comments Justin Smith said "I've never seen anything like that in my six years in the NFL." The official who made the call "must have season tickets down here." He further explained ""The dude (QB) ducked", suggesting it wasn't the force of Smith tackling but the QB's effort to double-over and protect the ball that made it appear he was being forced into the ground head first.

Hoping to rebound from their embarrassing loss to the Bucs, the Bengals went home for a showdown with the Carolina Panthers. In the first quarter, things didn't start out good for Cincinnati as Panthers QB Jake Delhomme completed a 7-yard TD pass to TE Kris Mangum for the only score of the period. In the second quarter, the Bengals managed to get on the board with QB Carson Palmer completing a 16-yard TD pass to TE Reggie Kelly. However, Carolina would respond with Delhomme completing a 20-yard TD pass to RB Nick Goings. Fortunately, in the second half of the game, it was all Cincinnati, with kicker Shayne Graham nailing a 23-yard field goal in the third quarter and Palmer completing a 1-yard TD pass to WR T. J. Houshmandzadeh. The drive which led to Housh's (a nickname used by local radio commentators for Houshmandzadeh) was kept alive by an uncharacteristically risky play. On 4th and 1 instead of the expected, and typically successful quarterback push in the middle or a short-yardage dive play involving a running back, the Bengals ran a "play action pass". Carson tossed a high arching pass down the sideline where a sprinting Chad Johnson caught up to it and made a tumbling catch just out of the reach of the defender for a 32-yard gain. The Panthers' last scoring opportunity was thwarted by Delhomme's first interception ever thrown as a Panther when in the opponent's 20 yard line. Kevin Kaesviharn made the interception to end the threat, much like the pass he intercepted during the Steeler's game earlier this year. This game saw the return of 3rd down running back specialist Chris Perry and safety Dexter Jackson. With the victory, the Bengals improved to 4-2, tying the Ravens for the lead in the AFC North.

There has been some speculation that the Panthers game may prove to be a pivotal moment in the Bengals' season. Specifically a focus on the daring 4th and 1 play that went for 32 yards. The somewhat downtrodden Bengals' offense is expected to have gained some confidence after their showing.

During this time period the Bengals' held a work out for former Bengal Peter Warrick. This appears to be in response to their thinning receiving corps.

After being relatively silent for most of the season Chad Johnson spoke out boastfully before the Atlanta game predicting he would score multiple touchdowns and damage the defensive back rival, DeAngelo Hall, into being cut from Atlanta's team. Chad stated he was using this opportunity for the offense to regain some of its confidence and swagger.

Following their victory against the Panthers, the Bengals stayed at home for a throwdown with the visiting Atlanta Falcons. In the first quarter, the Falcons drew first blood, as kicker Morten Andersen nailed a 42-yard field goal. The Bengals would respond with a 1-yard TD run by RB Rudi Johnson. Yet, Atlanta drew closer with Andersen kicking a 40-yard field goal. In the second quarter, Cincinnati added on to their lead with QB Carson Palmer completing a 12-yard TD pass to WR Chad Johnson. However, the Falcons would respond with QB Michael Vick completing a 16-yard TD pass to TE Alge Crumpler. Fortunately, the Bengals had kicker Shayne Graham nail a 51-yard field goal near the end of the half. In the third quarter, the Falcons started to get some steam with Vick completing a 26-yard TD pass to WR Michael Jenkins. Graham would kick a 26-yard field goal for Cincinnati's only score of the period, yet Vick managed to hook up with FB Justin Griffith, which was followed up with a bobbled snap on the PAT and a failed two-point conversion). In the fourth quarter, Andersen helped the Falcons get a 39-yard field goal and a semi-hefty lead over Cincinnati. The Bengals would respond with Palmer completing a 55-yard TD pass to WR Chris Henry. However, on their last drive, any chance for Cincinnati to pull off a comeback ended in a fumble, as the Falcons held on to win, while making the Bengals fall to 4-3.What happened during practice is Chad Johnson, on the back of his name label, it says Ocho Cinco instead of C. Johnson.Soon, Carson Palmer ripped it off to reveal C.Johnson.

Hoping to rebound from their home loss to the Falcons, the Bengals flew to M&T Bank Stadium for an AFC North fight with the Baltimore Ravens. From the get-go, the Bengals trailed, as RB Jamal Lewis got a 2-yard TD run, while QB Carson Palmer got intercepted by CB Samari Rolle at Cincinnati's 49-yard line. Rolle would go 24 yards, before lateraling the ball off to Free Safety Ed Reed, who ran the remaining 25 yards for a touchdown. In the second quarter, kicker Matt Stover got a 43-yard field goal for the Ravens. The Bengals would finally get a touchdown, as Palmer completed a 26-yard TD pass to WR T. J. Houshmandzadeh. In the third quarter, Stover got two more field goals for Baltimore (a 25-yarder and a 36-yarder), while Cincinnati kicker Shayne Graham nailed a 51-yard field goal. In the fourth quarter, the Bengals started to claw back with RB Rudi Johnson getting a 4-yard TD run. However, Stover got another field goal, which was from 35 yards out. Even though Graham would get a 31-yard field goal, the Ravens emerged as the victor, while the Bengals fell to 4-4.

Hoping to snap their two-game skid, the Bengals went home for a Week 10 match-up of former AFL West rivals with the San Diego Chargers. The Bengals started off strong with FB Jeremi Johnson getting a 3-yard TD run. Afterwards, RB Rudi Johnson got a 7-yard TD run and QB Carson Palmer completed a 51-yard TD to WR Chad Johnson. In the second quarter, the Chargers managed to get on the board with RB LaDainian Tomlinson getting a 9-yard TD run. Cincinnati would respond with Palmer completing a 7-yard TD pass to WR Chris Henry. For the second half, the points came in huge chunks. In the third quarter, San Diego responded with Tomlinson getting a 4-yard TD run, while QB Philip Rivers completed a 46-yard TD pass to WR Malcom Floyd. The Bengals would respond with kicker Shayne Graham getting a 21-yard field goal. The Chargers would strike with Rivers completing a 9-yard TD pass to TE Brandon Manumaleuna. The Bengals would answer with Palmer completing a 73-yard TD pass to Chad Johnson. In the fourth quarter, the points didn't stop coming in, as San Diego responded with Tomlinson getting a 2-yard TD run and a 9-yard TD run. Cincinnati would get a 44-yard field goal from Graham, but the Chargers wrapped up this high scoring contest with Rivers and Manumaleuna hooking up with each other again on a 5-yard TD pass. With the loss, the Bengals fell to 4-5.

Hoping to keep their slim playoff hopes alive, the Bengals traveled to the Louisiana Superdome for a Week 11 fight with the New Orleans Saints. In the first quarter, the Bengals drew first blood as QB Carson Palmer completed a 41-yard TD pass to WR Chad Johnson. However, the Saints would reply with QB Drew Brees completing a 72-yard TD strike to WR Joe Horn. In the second quarter, Cincinnati took the lead before halftime as kicker Shayne Graham nailed a 21-yard field goal. After a scoreless third quarter, New Orleans tried to come back in the fourth quarter, as kicker John Carney nailed a 24-yard field goal. Fortunately, the Bengals offense went into overdrive as Palmer and Johnson connected with each other two more times with a 60-yard TD pass and a 4-yard TD pass. Then, the defense helped out as rookie DB Ethan Kilmer returned an interception 52 yards for a touchdown. The Saints could managed only one more touchdown, as Brees completed a 27-yard TD pass to WR Terrance Copper (with a missed PAT), but the Bengals managed to snap a three-game skid and improve to 5-5.

Coming off of their impressive road win over the Saints, the Bengals flew to Cleveland Browns Stadium for Round 2 of the Battle of Ohio against the Cleveland Browns. From beginning to end, Cincinnati dominated the game. In the first quarter, the domination began with RB Rudi Johnson getting a 1-yard TD run for the only score of the period. In the second quarter, QB Carson Palmer completed a 7-yard TD pass to WR Chris Henry, while kicker Shayne Graham completed a 24-yard field goal. In the third quarter, Palmer would hook up with WR T. J. Houshmandzadeh on a 6-yard TD pass (with a failed PAT) for the only score of the period. In the fourth quarter, Palmer and Henry would hook up one more time on a 10-yard TD pass. With their second-straight sweep over Cleveland, the Bengals improved to 6-5.

Coming off of their dominate road win over the Browns, the Bengals went home for a Thursday Night fight in an AFC North rematch against the Baltimore Ravens. After a scoreless first quarter, kicker Shayne Graham helped the Bengals draw first blood with a 23-yard and a 27-yard field goal. In the third quarter, things went even better as QB Carson Palmer completed a 40-yard TD pass to WR T. J. Houshmandzadeh on a flea flicker for the only score of the period. In the fourth quarter, the Ravens had a late comeback as QB Steve McNair completed a 36-yard TD pass to WR Derrick Mason, but fortunately, the Bengals squashed any chance of Baltimore's comeback by succeeding on the onside kick. With the win, the Bengals improved to 7-5. Shane Graham missed the 1st extra point attempt in his entire career as it was blocked bringing his 158 success streak to an end. Chris Perry suffered another season-ending injury during this game and has not played a full season of professional football in his career yet.

Deltha O'Neal became the 8th Bengal since the 2005 - 2006 season to be arrested. He was charged with drunk driving. He did not play in the next game but had been nursing a nagging injury for many previous weeks. It was not clear if he did not play as a disciplinary measure or due to the injury.

The 2-10 Raiders came into Paul Brown Stadium Kevin Malone was at this game in which with a highly-ranked pass defense and poorly ranked offense. Even though QB Carson Palmer uncharacteristically threw 3 interceptions and RB Rudi Johnson fumbled the ball away, the 4 turnovers given to the Raiders were not enough for their offense to mount any consistent scoring efforts. Graham missed another extra point but it was unblocked. Cincinnati also did not punt once during this game. For the first time in Bengals' history, four players were over 100 yards in offensive production (Carson, Houshmandzadeh, Chad and Rudi Johnson). The Bengals' defense, although facing an unproductive Raiders' offense, continued their dominance.

After going on this 4-game win streak, and various AFC teams contending for the wild card spots losing on week 14, the Bengals regained control of their own destiny in regards to the playoffs. The next week they will go to Indianapolis to face the Colts. The possibility of the Bengals winning the AFC North division was still alive.

Following their victory over the Raiders, the Bengals flew to the RCA Dome for a Monday Night fight with the Indianapolis Colts. In the first quarter, things started off slow with Colts kicker Adam Vinatieri nailing 30-yard field goal, while kicker Shayne Graham got a 27-yard field goal. In the second quarter, Indianapolis took the lead with QB Peyton Manning completed a 4-yard TD pass to WR Marvin Harrison. Cincinnati responded with RB Rudi Johnson got a 12-yard TD run. However, Manning hooked up with Harrison again on a 3-yard TD pass. In the third quarter, the Bengals managed to have Graham kick a 30-yard field goal. However, things got worse with Manning completing a 1-yard TD pass to Harrison while completing an 18-yard TD pass to WR Reggie Wayne. In the fourth quarter, Cincinnati's only response was Graham's 28-yard field goal. Afterwards, the Colts wrapped the game up with Vinatieri's 44-yard field goal. With the loss, not only did the Bengals fall to 8-6, but their loss allowed their division rival, the Baltimore Ravens, to win the division.

Trying to rebound from their road loss to the Colts, the Bengals flew to Invesco Field at Mile High for a snowy Week 16 intraconference fight with the Denver Broncos. In the first quarter, Cincinnati struck first with RB Rudi Johnson's 6-yard TD run for the only score of the period. In the second quarter, the Broncos struck back with QB Jay Cutler completing a 1-yard TD pass to TE Tony Scheffler and a 39-yard TD pass to WR Javon Walker. Fortunately, the Bengals pounced back into the lead with kicker Shayne Graham's 46-yard field goal and QB Carson Palmer's 11-yard TD pass WR Chris Henry. However, in the second half, Denver pulled ahead with RB Mike Bell's 2-yard TD run in the third quarter and kicker Jason Elam's 24-yard field goal. Cincinnati would pull within one point with Palmer's 10-yard TD pass to WR T. J. Houshmandzadeh. Unfortunately, on the extra point attempt, punter/holder Kyle Larson had the snap go right through his hands, securing the loss. With that, the Bengals fell to 8-7.

Trying to keep their slim playoff hopes alive, the Bengals wrapped up their regular season at home with a crucial AFC North rematch game against the Pittsburgh Steelers. The Bengals had two possible options for reaching the post-season 1 - A Bengals win and a Jets loss, or 2 - A Kansas City Chiefs win, a Denver Broncos loss and a Bengals win. After a scoreless first quarter, the Steelers struck first with RB Willie Parker scoring a 1-yard TD run. Afterwards, Cincinnati would manage to score with kicker Shayne Graham nailing a 34-yard field goal. After a scoreless third quarter, the Bengals would take the lead after recovering a Willie Parker fumble on the 1-yard-line, when QB Carson Palmer completed a 66-yard TD pass to WR Chris Henry. Afterwards, Pittsburgh retook the lead with Parker getting another 1-yard TD run. Cincinnati would then jump back into the lead with Palmer completing a 5-yard TD pass to TE Tony Stewart. The Steelers would manage to tie the game late in the 4th period with kicker Jeff Reed's 35-yard field goal, yet the Bengals managed to quickly move into field goal range. However, Graham's game-winning 39-yard field goal attempt went wide right. In overtime, the Steelers won with QB Ben Roethlisberger completing a 67-yard TD pass to WR Santonio Holmes. With the loss, not only did Cincinnati fall to 8-8, but their three-straight losses to end the season denied the Bengals of their playoff chances. In a cruel twist of fate, the Kansas City Chiefs defeated the Jacksonville Jaguars and the Denver Broncos lost to the San Francisco 49ers meaning that the Bengals cost themselves the post-season and ensured that Cincinnati would once again have nothing invested in the playoffs. It was Marvin Lewis' third 8 - 8 season in his four years as the Bengals head coach.

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Source : Wikipedia