Cincinnati Bengals History | 2009 -



Rebounding from the disappointment of injury-plagued 2008, the Bengals won their second division championship under coach Marvin Lewis, finishing with a 10-6 record. Their march to the AFC North title included a 6-0 mark in division games, marking the only time in franchise history (through 2017) for Cincinnati to sweep its division opponents. The Bengals were eliminated in the first round of the playoffs, however, losing 24-14 to the visiting N.Y. Jets, who went on to reach the AFC Championship Game. The Bengals weathered tragedy en route to the title. On Oct. 8, Vikki Zimmer, wife for 27 years to Bengals defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer, died unexpectedly in Cincinnati. And on Dec. 17, WR Chris Henry died in North Carolina from injuries suffered in a Dec. 16 fall from a moving pickup truck. Henry was not with the team at the time, recuperating from a forearm fracture suffered Nov. 8 vs. Baltimore. The Bengals chartered a plane for the entire team to attend Henry's funeral in New Orleans on Dec. 22, and NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell also attended. On the field in '09, the Bengals were led by their defense, which continued rapid improvement under coordinator Zimmer. The Bengals finished fourth in the NFL in fewest yards allowed (301.4 per game). The team suffered a stunning home loss to Denver in the season opener, on a wildly improbable late play, but Cincinnati rebounded to win its next four. The Bengals led Denver 7-6 with less than a minute to play, but the Broncos won 12-7 on an 87-yard TD pass that was deflected by the Bengals defense to Denver's Brandon Stokley, who was not the intended receiver. The play stands through 2017 as the NFL's longest game-winning TD play from scrimmage in the final minute of the fourth quarter. On Oct. 4, Shayne Graham's 31-yard FG beat the Browns 23-20 in the longest Bengals game not to end in a tie. Graham's winning kick came with :04 remaining in overtime. On Oct. 25 vs. Chicago, Bengals HB Cedric Benson vaulted into the NFL rushing lead with a 189-yard game against Chicago, the team with which he had debuted unsuccessfully as a high first-round draft choice. The Bengals won 45-10 in a game nicknamed the "Benson Bowl," and NFL Network reported that Benson's rushing total was the most by a player against his former team in league history, with research going back to 1950. Long known for his mischievous on-field antics, WR Chad Johnson logged his last significant zany move as a Bengal on Nov. 8 vs. Baltimore, when he playfully offered a dollar bill to the officiating crew as they were discussing a ruling. The NFL was not amused, and Johnson was fined $20,000. In Games 10-12, for the only time in franchise history (through 2017), the Bengals got 100-yard rushing games from three different players in a span of three games (Bernard Scott at Oakland, Larry Johnson vs. Cleveland and Cedric Benson vs. Detroit). It was the first such instance in the NFL since 1993. Benson set a Bengals individual record for 100-yard rushing games in a season (six), and the club set a mark with eight individual 100-yard rushers. Both marks stand through 2017.

AFC Wild Card Playoff

In a Wild Card Playoff that was relatively even in most statistical categories, the AFC North Champion Bengals were minus-two in turnover differential and could not hold an early lead against the visiting Jets. Cincinnati led 7-0 after the first quarter, on an 11-yard TD pass from QB Carson Palmer to WR Laveranues Coles, but New York gained a 14-7 halftime lead with two scores in a span of less than six minutes in the second quarter. Possession for the go-ahead TD drive was gained by the Jets on an INT by Pro Bowl CB Darrelle Revis. The Bengals' second-half comeback efforts were crippled by missed FG attempts of 35 and 28 yards by K Shayne Graham. Bengals HB Cedric Benson scored on a 47-yard run in the fourth quarter, and his 169 rushing yards for the game set a Bengals postseason record. The Jets defeated the San Diego Chargers in their Divisional Playoff the following week to advance to the AFC Championship game, where they lost to the Indianapolis Colts.

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League Rankings

Table inside Article
OFFENSE24 (309.1)9 (128.5)26 (180.6)
DEFENSE4 (301.4)7 (98.3)6 (203.1)

Year Totals

Table inside Article
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Individual Leaders

Table inside Article
Shayne GrahamScoring
Carson PalmerPassing
Cedric BensonRushing
Chad JohnsonReceptions
Chad JohnsonReceiving Yards
Kevin HuberPunting
Quan CosbyPunt Returns
Andre CaldwellKickoff Returns
Shayne GrahamField Goals
Johnathan Joseph, Leon HallInterceptions
Antwan OdomSacks
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Coaching Staff

Table inside Article
Marvin LewisHead Coach
Paul AlexanderAssistant Head Coach / Offensive Line
Jim AndersonRunning Backs
Bob BratkowskiOffensive Coordinator
Louie CioffiAssistant Defensive Backs
Kevin CoyleDefensive Backs
Jeff FitzGeraldLinebackers
Paul GuentherAssistant Special Teams / Assistant Linebackers
Jay HayesDefensive Line
Jonathan HayesTight Ends
Chip MortonStrength and Conditioning
Ray OliverAssociate Strength and Conditioning
Mike SheppardWide Receivers
Darrin SimmonsSpecial Teams
Bob SuraceAssistant Offensive Line
Ken ZampeseQuarterbacks
Mike ZimmerDefensive Coordinator
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2009 NFL Draft: April 25 - 26

Table inside Article
1Andre SmithOTAlabama6
2Rey MaualugaLBSouthern California38
3aMichael JohnsonDEGeorgia Tech70
3bChase CoffmanTEMissouri*98
4Jonathan LuigsCArkansas106
5Kevin HuberPCincinnati142
6aMorgan TrentCBMichigan179
6bBernard ScottHBAbilene Christian*209
7aFui VakapunaFBBrigham Young215
7bClinton McDonaldDTMemphis*249
7cFreddie BrownWRUtah*252

*NOTE: The Bengals received four compensatory picks (Nos. 98, 209, 249 and 252).

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Pro Bowl

Player selected for the 2009 Pro Bowl: WR Chad Johnson

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