Cincinnati Bengals History
The Cincinnati Bengals have the distinction of being the second NFL team that owes much of history to Paul Brown. The namesake of the Cleveland Browns, and their first head coach, was the impetus for the NFL making its way to Cincinnati.
Brown was fired by then-Browns owner Art Modell, and after a couple of years out of football he decided to get back in, lobbying the NFL for an expansion team in 1965. By this time the AFL-NFL merger was in the works, and when the NFL awarded a new franchise to New Orleans, the AFL countered by giving Brown’s group a franchise in Cincinnati.
Bengals are Born
The new team, the Bengals – a nickname chosen by Brown – began play in 1968.
Brown coached the Bengals through their first eight seasons, making the playoffs three times, but never winning in the postseason. Finally in 1981 the Bengals got their first ever playoff win, making it all the way to Super Bowl XVI before losing to Joe Montana.
They would not win another playoff game until 1988, another Super Bowl run. And in 2021 was their most improbable run. They went from four wins in 2020 to the Super Bowl for a third time in franchise history. They have, however, yet to win a Super Bowl.
In franchise history the Bengals have eight postseason wins, and seven of those wins came in Super Bowl seasons.
The Bengals don’t have a rich history of great players. However, Anthony Munoz is universally considered one of the greatest offensive lineman in the history of the NFL. After nine years as a First-team All-Pro in the 1980s in Cincinnati, he became a Hall of Famer.
NFL Big Changes from Last Season – Cincinnati Bengals
There really was only one weakness for the Bengals in 2021, and it was the focus of their offseason. We’re talking about the offensive line that was abused for most of the season, and especially the postseason.
They allowed nine sacks in the Divisional Round of the playoffs against the Titans, and seven sacks to the Rams in their Super Bowl loss. The Bengals main goal between 2021 and 2022 was improving the offensive line.
New at right tackle is La’el Collins, coming over to Cincinnati from the Dallas Cowboys. He’s expected to be the new anchor of the line.
Alex Cappa is going to play next to Collins at right guard. He comes to the Bengals via free agency after spending the last four years in Tampa Bay and starting 46 games.
More Additions to the Team
At center there is a new man to snap the ball to Joe Burrow with the addition of Ted Karras, who like Cappa played with Tom Brady. He also played a season in Miami in which he started all 16 games.
The left side of the offensive line has Jackson Carman, now in his second season and expected to be improved. And at left tackle is Jonah Williams, the 11th overall pick by the Bengals in 2019 and someone the team expects to step up in a big way this year.
Considering the problems with the offensive line in 2021 and the 70 sacks that Burrow took, it’s incredible just how good this offense was. They ranked seventh in points per game and seventh in passing yards per game at 282.7.
At times the defense struggled, and especially against the pass, ranking 27th in passing yards allowed in 2021. That prompted the Bengals to use their first round draft pick on safety Dax Hill from Michigan, and their second round pick on cornerback Cam Taylor-Britt from Nebraska.
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