Cincinnati Bengals History | 1975 -



In their final season with Paul Brown as head coach, the Bengals opened with six straight wins and went on to post an 11-3 record. Their .786 winning percentage stands through 2017 as the best in franchise history, and their plus differential in yards per game (81.2, on 361.4 offensively vs. 280.2 defensively) also stands as a franchise record. The team also set a franchise record for fumble recoveries per game (1.57, on 22 total). But two of Cincinnati's losses were to AFC Central Division rival Pittsburgh, and the Steelers took the division title at 12-2, setting up their drive to the Super Bowl X championship. The Bengals qualified as the AFC Wild Card team for the playoffs, but had to play on the road at Oakland, which also had finished 11-3, and the Raiders prevailed, 31-28, withstanding a Bengals rally from a 31-14 deficit. QB Ken Anderson won the second of his four NFL passing championships, with a 93.9 rating, and he was also named Dodge NFL Man of the Year, an award reflecting both athletic and civic achievement. Attempts to revive the injury-plagued career of iconic QB Greg Cook ended on July 9, when the Bengals allowed Kansas City to claim Cook on waivers. Cook played in preseason for the Chiefs but did not reach the regular season with the club. The Bengals opened the preseason in the Hall of Fame game at Canton, Ohio, playing Washington on Aug. 2 on a day when the on-field temperature was estimated at 105, believed to be the hottest conditions ever (through 2017) for any Bengals game. Labor unrest forced the preseason to unfold under another strike threat, but it was averted just before the regular season began. The Bengals defense was strong despite the pre-training camp loss of Pro Bowl DT Mike Reid, who retired at age 26 to pursue a career in music. The last player still with the Bengals from the 1968 expansion draft, G Pat Matson, was traded to Green Bay on Sept. 10. Prior to the season, Paul Brown hired Kim Wood as the first "strength coach" in franchise history, citing the need for a more comprehensive year-round conditioning program for players. Wood would serve in the job through 2002.

Postseason Game Summary – AFC Divisional Playoff

The 1975 Bengals posted the best regular-season winning percentage in franchise history (.786), and they led the NFL in passing yards. But their 11-3 record earned them only a Wild Card spot behind 12-2 Pittsburgh in the AFC Central Division, and they drew a road game at 12-2 Oakland in the first playoff round. QB Ken Stabler, who went on to lead the Raiders to the AFC Championship game for the third straight year, passed for three TDs against Cincinnati. The Bengals closed a 31-14 fourth-quarter deficit to 31-28 with QB Ken Anderson's TD passes of 25 and 14 yards to WRs Charlie Joiner and Isaac Curtis, and Cincinnati had a chance to win after DT Ron Carpenter recovered a Raiders fumble on the Oakland 38 with 4:19 left. But a sack by future Hall-of-Fame LB Ted Hendricks helped the Raiders hold the Bengals without a first down, and after failing on a fourth-down try, the Bengals never regained possession. Stabler completed 17 of 23 attempts for 199 yards, three TDs and just one INT, while the Raiders totaled for 173 yards rushing. Anderson completed 17 of 27 passes for 201 yards, two TDs and no INTs, but was sacked five times.

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League Rankings

Table inside Article
OFFENSE2 (361.4)17 (129.9)*1 (231.5)
DEFENSE7 (280.2)18 (156.7)2 (123.5)

Year Totals

Table inside Article

Individual Leaders

Table inside Article
Dave GreenScoring
Ken AndersonPassing
Boobie ClarkRushing
Isaac CurtisReceptions
Isaac CurtisReceiving Yards
Dave GreenPunting
Lyle BlackwoodPunt Return
Bernard JacksonKickoff Returns
Dave GreenField Goals
Ken RileyInterceptions
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Coaching Staff

Table inside Article
Paul BrownHead Coach
Howard BrinkerLinebackers
Jack DonaldsonOffensive Backfield
Bill JohnsonOffensive Line
Chuck StudleyDefensive Line
Bill WalshReceivers/Quarterbacks
Chuck WeberDefensive Backfield
Kim WoodStrength

1975 NFL Draft: JAN 28 - 29

Table inside Article
1Glenn CameronLBFlorida14
2Al KrevisTBoston College39
3aGary Burley (acquired from Atlanta in trade on 8-21-74)DEPittsburgh55
3bGary SheideQBBrigham Young64
3cBo Harris (acquired from Minnesota in trade on 8-10-73)LBLouisiana State77
4(sent to Minnesota in trade on 8-10-73)89
4Stan Fritts (acquired from Buffalo in trade on 8-28-74)RBNorth Carolina State97
5aPat McInallyP/WRHarvard120
5bJeff West (acquired from Dallas in trade on 7-3-74)P/TECincinnati122
6aTom Shuman (acquired from Philadelphia in trade on 3-8-74)QBPenn State142
6bRollen SmithCBArkansas145
7Chris DevlinLBPenn State170
8Ricky DavisSAlabama195
9aGreg DubinetzGYale220
9bLofell Williams (acquired from Buffalo in trade on 7-31-74)WR/RBVirginia Union227
10Rocky FelkerQBMississippi State245
11Marvin CobbCBSouthern California276
12Jack NovakTEWisconsin301
13Ron RosenbergLBMontana326
14Frank HaywoodDTNorth Carolina State351
15Greg EnrightPKSouthern Oregon376
16John TuttleWRKansas State401
17Elvin CharityCBYale432

Pro Bowl

Players selected for the 1975 NFL Pro Bowl: QB Ken Anderson, WR Isaac Curtis, CB Lemar Parrish