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Cincinnati Bengals History | 1986 -



The '86 team was the second Bengals club, and the last one through 2017, to win 10 or more games and not make the playoffs. They lost their chance for a division title when they were bombed 34-3 by eventual champ Cleveland in Game 15 at Riverfront Stadium, but they stayed alive for a Wild Card berth to the very end. After swamping the N.Y. Jets 52-21 on the season's final Sunday, they were set to qualify with a Miami win over visiting New England on Monday night. But as many Bengals players gathered to watch at a popular Cincinnati night spot, the Patriots won 34-27, taking the AFC East title by a game over the Jets and eliminating Cincinnati from postseason. The 10-6 Jets and 10-6 Chiefs took the Wild Card spots over the Bengals via tiebreaker, with better records against AFC foes. In his first full season as Bengals starting QB, Boomer Esiason passed for a then-club-record 3959 yards, and RB James Brooks posted a club record that still stands through 2017 for yards from scrimmage (1773, on 1087 rushing and 686 receiving). LB Reggie Williams won the prestigious NFL Man of the Year award, for his combined football and community efforts. In late July, the NFL completed successful defense of a multi-million-dollar antitrust suit filed by the United States Football League. The courts ruled technically in favor of the USFL, but awarded only a token $1 in damages. "(The suit) could have been catastrophic to the NFL," Bengals assistant GM Mike Brown told reporters. "We are glad to see it end in what we consider a complete victory." In '86, the NFL began the regular use of instant replay officiating and stepped up its drug-testing program, two measures that were supported by the Bengals. After a year of instant replay, however, the Bengals would join a minority of teams that unsuccessfully opposed its continuation.

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League Rankings

Table inside Article
OFFENSE 1 (405.6) 2 (158.3) 3 (247.3)
DEFENSE 20 (329.6) 22 (132.6) 10 (197.0)

Year Totals

Table inside Article
OFFENSE 1046 348 2533 3957 6490 409
DEFENSE 1051 336 2122 3152 5274 394

Individual Leaders

Table inside Article
Jim Breech Scoring
Boomer Esiason Passing
James Brooks Rushing
Cris Collinsworth Receptions
Cris Collinsworth Receiving Yards
Jeff Hayes Punting
Ray Horton Punt Returns
Tim McGee Kickoff Returns
Jim Breech Field Goals
Louis Breeden Interceptions
Emmanuel King Sacks
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Coaching Staff

Table inside Article
Sam Wyche Head Coach
Jim Anderson Running Backs
Bruce Coslet Offensive Coordinator
Bill Johnson Tight Ends
Dick LeBeau Defensive Coordinator
Jim McNally Offensive Line
Dick Selcer Linebackers
Bill Urbanik Defensive Line
Kim Wood Strength

1986 NFL Draft: April 29 - 30

Table inside Article
1a Joe Kelly LB Washington 11
1b Tim McGee (acquired from Denver in trade on 10-9-84) WR Tennessee 21
2 Lewis Billups CB North Alabama 38
3a Jim Skow (acquired from Atlanta in trade on 4-2-86) DE Nebraska 58
3b Mike Hammerstein DE Michigan 65
4a Eric Kattus TE Michigan 91
4b Doug Gaynor (acquired from Seattle in trade on 10-15-85) QB Cal State-Long Beach 99
5 Leon White LB Brigham Young 123
6 Gary Hunt CB Memphis State 152
7 Pat Franklin RB Southwest Texas State 177
8 David Douglas T Tennessee 204
9 Cary Whittingham LB Brigham Young 230
10 Jeff Shaw NT Salem College 262
11a Tim Stone T Kansas State 289
11b Tom Flaherty (acquired from Green Bay in trade on 9-4-85) LB Northwestern 294
12 Steve Bradley QB Indiana 316

Pro Bowl

Players selected for the 1986 NFL Pro Bowl: RB James Brooks, QB Boomer Esiason, G Max Montoya, OT Anthony Munoz