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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
OFFENSE 15 (307.1) 15 (150.6) 13 (156.5)
DEFENSE 5 (262.1) 11 (136.6) 3 (125.6)

Year Totals

Table inside Article
OFFENSE 878 238 2109 2191 4300 335
DEFENSE 930 234 1912 1758 3670 210

Individual Leaders

Table inside Article
Chris Bahr Scoring
Ken Anderson Passing
Boobie Clark Rushing
Isaac Curtis Receptions
Isaac Curtis Receiving Yards
Pat McInally Punting
Willie Shelby Punt Return
Willie Shelby Kickoff Returns
Chris Bahr Field Goals
Ken Riley Interceptions
Coy Bacon Sacks

Coaching Staff

Table inside Article
Bill Johnson Head Coach
Howard Brinker Defensive Coordinator
Jack Donaldson Offensive Backfield
Boyd Dowler Quarterbacks/Receivers
Mike McCormack Offensive Line
Chuck Studley Defensive Line
Charley Winner Defensive Backfield
Kim Wood Strength

1976 NFL Draft: April 8-9

Table inside Article
1a Billy Brooks (acquired from Philadelphia in trade on 3-8-74) WR Oklahoma 11
1b Archie Griffin RB Ohio State 24
2a Glenn Bujnoch (acquired from Philadelphia in trade on 6-29-75) G Texas A&M 38
2b Chris Bahr PK Penn State 51
3a Danny Reece (acquired from Philadelphia in trade on 6-16-75) DB Southern California 69
3b Reggie Williams LB Dartmouth 82
4a Tony Davis (acquired from Kansas City in trade on 4-18-75) RB Nebraska 106
4b Greg Fairchild T/G Tulsa 116
5a Willie Shelby (acquired from San Francisco in trade on 6-11-75) DB/WR Alabama 138
5b Scott Perry DB Williams 147
6 Orlando Nelson TE Utah State 176
7a Bob Bateman (acquired from New England in trade on 9-8-75) QB Brown 187
7b Pete Rome (acquired from Green Bay in trade on 9-9-75) DB Miami (Ohio) 192
8 Ron Hunt T Oregon 232
9 Lonnie Allgood WR Syracuse 259
10 Tom Klaban K Ohio State 287
11 Melvin Morgan DB Mississippi Valley State 314
12 Joe Dale Harris WR Alabama 340
13 Randy Walker RB Miami (Ohio) 371
14 Greg Coleman P/PK Florida A&M 398
15 Lynn Hieber QB Indiana (Pa.) 425
16 George Demopoulos C Miami (Fla.) 455
17 Scott Dannelley T/G Ohio State 482

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