Cincinnati Bengals History | 1976 -



On Jan. 1, Paul Brown announced his retirement as head coach, while remaining general manager and overall chief executive. Brown had coached 41 seasons at various levels of football, with a career including dominance at the high school level, a national championship at Ohio State, and an AAFC and NFL dynasty with the Cleveland Browns. Brown also led the expansion Bengals into the playoffs in their third season (1970), making them the "youngest franchise" in league history at that time to reach postseason. His overall coaching record was 342-126-15, for a winning percentage of .724. Brown named Bill "Tiger" Johnson, Bengals offensive line coach since the franchise's inception, as his successor as head coach. Johnson led the team to a 10-4 record, tied with Pittsburgh atop the AFC Central, but the Steelers won a tiebreaker (head-to-head sweep) for the division title, and the Bengals lost out to 11-3 New England for what was then a lone AFC Wild Card spot in the playoffs. The Bengals' .714 winning percentage is the highest (through 2017) of any Cincinnati team not to make the playoffs. The Bengals entered the final regular-season weekend tied with Pittsburgh at 9-4, but the Steelers clinched the playoff spot with a Saturday win against Houston. The Bengals were playing only for pride the following day when they swamped the N.Y. Jets 42-3 in what was to be the last Jets appearance by Hall of Fame QB Joe Namath. The Bengals acquired defensive end Coy Bacon in a March 31 trade with San Diego for WR Charlie Joiner, and Bacon contributed 22.0 sacks, still the Bengals record through 2017, and by a margin of 9.0. The team had 46 sacks, and its average of 3.29 per game is still the franchise record though 2016. Also still a record through '17 is the club's average yield of only 15.0 points per game. CB Ken Riley led the AFC with nine INTs. In the first round of the draft, Cincinnati selected HB Archie Griffin, the two-time Heisman Trophy winner from Ohio State, and Griffin went on to play for the Bengals through 1983.


League Rankings

Table inside Article
OFFENSE15 (307.1)15 (150.6)13 (156.5)
DEFENSE5 (262.1)11 (136.6)3 (125.6)

Year Totals

Table inside Article

Individual Leaders

Table inside Article
Chris BahrScoring
Ken AndersonPassing
Boobie ClarkRushing
Isaac CurtisReceptions
Isaac CurtisReceiving Yards
Pat McInallyPunting
Willie ShelbyPunt Return
Willie ShelbyKickoff Returns
Chris BahrField Goals
Ken RileyInterceptions
Coy BaconSacks

Coaching Staff

Table inside Article
Bill JohnsonHead Coach
Howard BrinkerDefensive Coordinator
Jack DonaldsonOffensive Backfield
Boyd DowlerQuarterbacks/Receivers
Mike McCormackOffensive Line
Chuck StudleyDefensive Line
Charley WinnerDefensive Backfield
Kim WoodStrength

1976 NFL Draft: April 8-9

Table inside Article
1aBilly Brooks (acquired from Philadelphia in trade on 3-8-74)WROklahoma11
1bArchie GriffinRBOhio State24
2aGlenn Bujnoch (acquired from Philadelphia in trade on 6-29-75)GTexas A&M38
2bChris BahrPKPenn State51
3aDanny Reece (acquired from Philadelphia in trade on 6-16-75)DBSouthern California69
3bReggie WilliamsLBDartmouth82
4aTony Davis (acquired from Kansas City in trade on 4-18-75)RBNebraska106
4bGreg FairchildT/GTulsa116
5aWillie Shelby (acquired from San Francisco in trade on 6-11-75)DB/WRAlabama138
5bScott PerryDBWilliams147
6Orlando NelsonTEUtah State176
7aBob Bateman (acquired from New England in trade on 9-8-75)QBBrown187
7bPete Rome (acquired from Green Bay in trade on 9-9-75)DBMiami (Ohio)192
8Ron HuntTOregon232
9Lonnie AllgoodWRSyracuse259
10Tom KlabanKOhio State287
11Melvin MorganDBMississippi Valley State314
12Joe Dale HarrisWRAlabama340
13Randy WalkerRBMiami (Ohio)371
14Greg ColemanP/PKFlorida A&M398
15Lynn HieberQBIndiana (Pa.)425
16George DemopoulosCMiami (Fla.)455
17Scott DannelleyT/GOhio State482

Pro Bowl

Players selected for the 1976 NFL Pro Bowl: QB Ken Anderson, DE Coy Bacon, S Tommy Casanova, WR Isaac Curtis, LB Jim LeClair, CB Lemar Parrish