1974

Summary

A break-even (7-7) season for Cincinnati included the individual highlight of QB Ken Anderson winning the first of his four NFL passing titles. He posted a league-best 95.7 rating, with 213 completions in 328 attempts (64.9 percent) for 2667 yards, with 18 TDs and 10 INTs. In a Nov. 10 win vs. Pittsburgh, Anderson set a Bengals record (still standing through 2017) for completion percentage, ringing up a 90.9 by connecting on 20-of-22. Through 2017, that's third-best in NFL history (minimum 20 attempts). CB Lemar Parrish led the NFL in punt returns, with an 18.8-yard average that remains through '17 as the franchise record. The Bengals were 7-4 through 11 games, but were still a game and a half behind first-place Pittsburgh, and Cincinnati lost its last three contests. The Bengals swept the "Battle of Ohio" series vs. Cleveland for the first time, winning 33-7 at home in the season opener and 34-24 at Cleveland in Game 5. The campaign was preceded by a tumultuous offseason. Labor unrest roiled the league scene well into the preseason. The NFL Players Association called a strike, but not all players were on board, and most teams welcomed willing veterans into training camps. The Bengals were at the top in terms of veterans reporting to camp. Early preseason games were played with large numbers of rookies and other new personnel, however, and the Bengals offered fans refunds to those games. Most fans kept their tickets. The strike effort dwindled as preseason neared its end, and the regular season opened normally. Prior to preseason, the Bengals were in the thick of an NFL battle against player raids by the new World Football League, as they disputed the WFL Philadelphia franchise's signing of star LB Bill Bergey to a contract to begin in 1976, even though Bergey still was obligated to the Bengals through 1975. The Bengals lost that battle in court, but the decision wound up being moot. Bergey's offers from the unstable new league eventually fell through, and on July 10 of '74, Cincinnati traded Bergey to Philadelphia's NFL team, the Eagles, for first-round draft choices in 1976 and '77, plus a second-rounder in '77.

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League Rankings

Table inside Article
TOTAL RUSH PASS
OFFENSE 4 (320.6) 12 (141.3) 4 (179.4)
DEFENSE 11 (281.6) 22 (153.7) 4 (127.9)

Year Totals

Table inside Article
PLAYS FIRST DOWNS NET YDS RUSH NET YDS PASS TOTAL NET YDS PTS
OFFENSE 835 260 1978 2511 4489 283
DEFENSE 892 256 2152 1790 3942 259

Individual Leaders

Table inside Article
PLAYER CATEGORY
Horst Muhlmann Scoring
Ken Anderson Passing
Charlie Davis Rushing
Chip Myers Receptions
Isaac Curtis Receiving Yards
Dave Green Punting
Lemar Parrish Punt Return
Bernard Jackson Kickoff Returns
Horst Muhlmann Field Goals
Ken Riley Interceptions

Coaching Staff

Table inside Article
COACH POSITION
Paul Brown Head Coach
Howard Brinker Linebackers
Jack Donaldson Offensive Backfield
Bill Johnson Offensive Line
Chuck Studley Defensive Line
Bill Walsh Receivers/Quarterbacks
Chuck Weber Defensive Coordinator/Defensive Backfield

1974 NFL Draft: JAN 29 - 30

Table inside Article
ROUND PLAYER POSITION COLLEGE SELECTION NUMBER
1 Bill Kollar DT Montana State 23
2 Charlie Davis RB Colorado 48
3a Dave Lapham (acquired from New Orleans in trade on 9-7-73) T Syracuse 61
3b Evan Jolitz LB Cincinnati 73
4a Mike Boryla (acquired from New England in trade on 8-22-73) QB Stanford 87
4b Daryl White G Nebraska 98
4c Richard Williams (acquired from Minnesota in trade on 8-10-73) WR Abilene Christian 103
5a Haskel Stanback (acquired from New Orleans in trade on 9-7-73) RB Tennessee 114
5b Richard Bishop DT Louisville 127
6a Robin Sinclair DB Washington State 152
6b William Bryant (acquired from New Orleans in trade on 4-10-73) DB Grambling 153
7 Ken Sawyer DB Syracuse 177
8 John McDaniel WR Lincoln 202
9 Ed Johnson DE Southern Methodist 231
10 Chuck Herd WR Penn State 256
11 Ed Kezirian T UCLA 281
12 Rudy McClinon DB Xavier (Ohio) 306
13 Ted Jornov LB Iowa State 335
14 Mike Phillips DE Cornell 360
15 Isaac Jackson RB Kansas State 385
16 Daryl Bishop DB Kentucky 410
17 Jim Smith RB North Carolina Central 439

*NOTE: The Bengals selected QB Clint Longley Jr. in the first round of the 1974 NFL Supplemental Draft. Longley was later traded to Dallas on 7-3-74.

Pro Bowl

Players selected for the 1974 NFL Pro Bowl: S Tommy Casanova, WR Isaac Curtis, CB Lemar Parrish

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