Cincinnati Bengals History | 1984 -



Rookie head coach Sam Wyche took the Bengals on a wild ride that ended just short of a playoff berth. The team rose from an 0-5 start to finish 8-8, winning its last four. After routing Buffalo 52-21 in a 1 p.m. ET season finale, the Bengals needed the 11-4 L.A. Raiders to win at home over 8-7 Pittsburgh in a 4 p.m. game. That result would have produced a Bengals-Steelers tie for the AFC Central title, and the Bengals would have been declared champions via tiebreaker. But the Steelers dashed Cincinnati's hopes in a 13-7 win over the Raiders, as Wyche and a number of invited media members watched on television at the coach's home. Wyche juggled his quarterbacks all season, due to injuries and/or coaching decisions. Ken Anderson began and finished the year as No. 1, starting nine games, but rookie Boomer Esiason started four and veteran Turk Schonert started three. Esiason made the first of his eventual 123 Bengals starts on Oct. 7 vs. Houston, in a battle of 0-5 teams. Esiason didn't dazzle, passing for 159 yards with no TDs and two INTs, but the Bengals won 13-3, and Esiason would finish 3-1 in his four starts on the year. Prior to the season, it was a big year for Cincinnati in the trade department. The Bengals entered April holding the No. 1 overall pick in the draft, via their 1983 trade of QB Jack Thompson to Tampa Bay. But with the top prospect, Brigham Young QB Steve Young, having signed with the USFL Los Angeles Express, the Bengals traded the pick on April 5 to New England, gaining the Nos. 16 and 28 spots in round one. The Bengals selected DE Pete Koch of Maryland at No. 16 and G Brian Blados of North Carolina at No. 28. The Patriots used the No. 1 pick on Nebraska WR Irving Fryar. On May 29, the Bengals made arguably the best straight player-for-player trade in franchise history, sending FB Pete Johnson to San Diego for RB James Brooks. Johnson would prove to be on the downside of his career, while Brooks would have a stellar Bengals tenure through 1991. The year 1984 was, and remains through 2017, the second time in club history for the Bengals to have three first-round draft picks (first year was 1977). With their own first-round '84 selection, the Bengals chose LB Ricky Hunley of Arizona, but Hunley became (and remains through 2017) the only Bengals first-rounder never to sign with Cincinnati. Hunley's stalemated contract negotiations set a Bengals record for length, and on Oct. 9, he was traded to Denver for three future selections, two of which brought Cincinnati productive WR Tim McGee (first round 1986) and Pro Bowl S David Fulcher (third round 1986).

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League Rankings

Table inside Article
OFFENSE5 (342.5)T-6 (136.2)T-13 (206.3)
DEFENSE13 (328.7)11 (116.8)18 (211.9)

Year Totals

Table inside Article
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Individual Leaders

Table inside Article
Jim BreechScoring
Ken AndersonPassing
Larry KinnebrewRushing
Cris CollinsworthReceptions
Cris CollinsworthReceiving Yards
Pat McInallyPunting
Mike MartinPunt Returns
Stanford JenningsKickoff Returns
Jim BreechField Goals
Louis Breeden, Robert Jackson, Bobby KempInterceptions
Eddie Edwards, Reggie WilliamsSacks
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Coaching Staff

Table inside Article
Sam WycheHead Coach
Jim AndersonRunning Backs
Bruce CosletWide Receivers
Joe FaragalliQuarterbacks/Tight Ends
Dick LeBeauDefensive Coordinator
Jim McNallyOffensive Line
Dick SelcerLinebackers
Bill UrbanikDefensive Line
Trent WaltersDefensive Backfield
Kim WoodStrength
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1984 NFL Draft: May 1-2

Table inside Article
1(acquired from Tampa Bay in trade on 6-2-83, then sent to New England in trade on 4-4-84)1
1aRicky HunleyLBArizona7
1bPete Koch (acquired from New England in trade on 4-4-84)DEMaryland16
1cBrian Blados (acquired from New England in trade on 4-4-84)OLNorth Carolina28
2Boomer EsiasonQBMaryland38
3Stanford JenningsRBFurman65
4John FarleyRBCal State-Sacramento92
5Barney BusseyDBSouth Carolina State119
6Don KernTEArizona State150
7Leo BarkerLBNew Mexico State177
8Bruce ReimersTIowa State204
9Bruce KozerskiOLHoly Cross231
10aAaron JacksonLBNorth Carolina262
10bBrent Ziegler (acquired from New England in trade on 4-4-84)RBSyracuse265
11Steve McKeaverRBCentral State (Okla.)289
12Steve RacquetLBHoly Cross316
1-sWayne PeaceQBFlorida*7
2-sBill JohnsonRBArkansas State*35
3-sTom KilkennyLBTemple*65

*NOTE: On June 5, the NFL held a supplemental draft for college seniors who had been eligible for the league's common draft a month earlier but had already signed a contract with a pro team in either the USFL or the CFL and thus were not selected by an NFL team in that common draft. In the supplemental draft, NFL teams obtained the rights to 84 of those players (76 USFL and eight CFL). The Bengals drafted three of them: QB Wayne Peace (had signed with the Tampa Bay Bandits of the USFL), RB Bill Johnson (Denver Gold, USFL) and LB Tom Kilkenny (Chicago Blitz, USFL). Of those three, only Johnson later joined the Bengals (in 1985), and he went on to make the team's all-time roster (played from '85-87).

Pro Bowl

Player selected for the 1984 NFL Pro Bowl: OT Anthony Munoz