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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
OFFENSE 5 (342.5) T-6 (136.2) T-13 (206.3)
DEFENSE 13 (328.7) 11 (116.8) 18 (211.9)

Year Totals

Table inside Article
OFFENSE 1081 339 2179 3301 5480 339
DEFENSE 1034 322 1868 3391 5259 339
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Individual Leaders

Table inside Article
Jim Breech Scoring
Ken Anderson Passing
Larry Kinnebrew Rushing
Cris Collinsworth Receptions
Cris Collinsworth Receiving Yards
Pat McInally Punting
Mike Martin Punt Returns
Stanford Jennings Kickoff Returns
Jim Breech Field Goals
Louis Breeden, Robert Jackson, Bobby Kemp Interceptions
Eddie Edwards, Reggie Williams Sacks
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Coaching Staff

Table inside Article
Sam Wyche Head Coach
Jim Anderson Running Backs
Bruce Coslet Wide Receivers
Joe Faragalli Quarterbacks/Tight Ends
Dick LeBeau Defensive Coordinator
Jim McNally Offensive Line
Dick Selcer Linebackers
Bill Urbanik Defensive Line
Trent Walters Defensive Backfield
Kim Wood Strength
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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
1a Ricky Hunley LB Arizona 7
1b Pete Koch (acquired from New England in trade on 4-4-84) DE Maryland 16
1c Brian Blados (acquired from New England in trade on 4-4-84) OL North Carolina 28
2 Boomer Esiason QB Maryland 38
3 Stanford Jennings RB Furman 65
4 John Farley RB Cal State-Sacramento 92
5 Barney Bussey DB South Carolina State 119
6 Don Kern TE Arizona State 150
7 Leo Barker LB New Mexico State 177
8 Bruce Reimers T Iowa State 204
9 Bruce Kozerski OL Holy Cross 231
10a Aaron Jackson LB North Carolina 262
10b Brent Ziegler (acquired from New England in trade on 4-4-84) RB Syracuse 265
11 Steve McKeaver RB Central State (Okla.) 289
12 Steve Racquet LB Holy Cross 316
1-s Wayne Peace QB Florida *7
2-s Bill Johnson RB Arkansas State *35
3-s Tom Kilkenny LB Temple *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