The Bengals began the season in a new division, the AFC North, as the NFL realigned into eight four-team divisions. The Bengals were successful in efforts to keep longtime rivals Cleveland and Pittsburgh as division foes, and the Baltimore Ravens completed the four-team lineup. The Bengals entered the season after an encouraging 2001 finish. But despite some noteworthy individual performances, the team sunk to the worst record (2-14) in franchise history. The team was hit hard by injuries, losing the league's second-highest number of games by starters. The offense got off to a very slow start with free agent signee Gus Frerotte at QB. The offense perked up noticeably after the 2001 starter, Jon Kitna, returned to the No. 1 QB role. For the first time since 1989, Cincinnati had a 3000-yard passer (Kitna), a 1000-yard rusher (Corey Dillon) and a 1000-yard receiver (Chad Johnson). Johnson had the first of his club-record 31 games of 100 receiving yards on Nov. 10 at Baltimore (seven-for-110). On Oct. 27 vs. Tennessee, Dillon raised his Bengals career rushing total to 6542 yards, passing James Brooks (6447) into the all-time franchise lead that he still holds through 2017 with 8061 yards. The Bengals set a team record for pass completions with 350 (since surpassed). But the team was 0-7 before getting a win at expansion Houston. The defense was inconsistent, and with nine TDs allowed on special teams or by the offense, the Bengals as a team allowed the second-most points (456) in club history. On Dec. 30, it was announced that head coach Dick LeBeau would not be retained for 2003.