Record: 8-8-0 (2nd in AFC North); 4-4 at home, 4-4 on road
Head Coach: Marvin Lewis
|September 10||at Kansas City||W||23-10||77,956||Arrowhead|
|September 17||Cleveland||W||34-17||66,072||Paul Brown|
|September 24||at Pittsburgh||W||28-20||64,922||Heinz Field|
|October 1||New England||L||13-38||66,035||Paul Brown|
|October 15||at Tampa Bay||L||13-14||65,732||Raymond James|
|October 22||Carolina||W||17-14||65,964||Paul Brown|
|October 29||Atlanta||L||27-29||65,978||Paul Brown|
|November 5||at Baltimore||L||20-26||70,792||M&T Bank|
|November 12||San Diego||L||41-49||65,917||Paul Brown|
|November 19||at New Orleans||W||31-16||68,001||Louisiana Superdome|
|November 26||at Cleveland||W||30-0||72,926||Cleveland Browns|
|November 30||Baltimore||W||13-7||65,973||Paul Brown|
|December 10||Oakland||W||27-10||65,882||Paul Brown|
|December 18||at Indianapolis||L||16-34||57,292||RCA Dome|
|December 24||at Denver||L||23-24||75759||INVESCO Field at Mile High|
|December 31||Pittsburgh||L||17-23 (OT)||66,049||Paul Brown|
The Bengals went into their season finale against the defending Super Bowl champion Pittsburgh Steelers with an outside shot at securing a Wild Card playoff berth. They needed a win plus help from two other teams to make the playoffs. But a disappointing season came to an end with a 23-17 overtime loss to Pittsburgh at Paul Brown Stadium. The loss left the defending AFC North Division champions with an 8-8 record.
The Bengals opened the year with three straight wins, then dipped to 4-5. They followed with four straight wins, and at 8-5 were widely rated as one of the league's most dangerous clubs. But Cincinnati dropped its final three contests — on the road at Indianapolis and Denver, and at home to the Steelers.
Quarterback Carson Palmer made an amazing comeback from a knee injury that he suffered in the 2005 Wild Card playoffs. Originally uncertain if he would be ready in time for the start of the 2006 regular season, Palmer started all 16 games in 2006 and set a team record with 4035 passing yards. Other individual achievements included an NFL receiving yards title for Chad Johnson (1,369), the first such crown in Bengals history, and Johnson also became the first player to lead the AFC or NFC in receiving yards for a fourth consecutive season. Defensive end Robert Geathers became the first Bengals player since 1992 to reach double digits in sacks (10.5). Palmer, Johnson and tackle Willie Anderson each were named to the AFC All-Star team for the Pro Bowl.
2006: A CLOSER LOOK