1978

Summary

The Bengals and the NFL played the first year with a 16-game schedule, and it was a long 16 for Cincinnati. QB Ken Anderson missed the first four games with a broken bone in his right hand, and Bill Johnson resigned as head coach following an 0-5 start. Among the first four games, Cincinnati's losing margins included one point (vs. Kansas City), three points (in overtime at Cleveland) and two points (vs. New Orleans). Johnson was replaced as head coach by Homer Rice, who had joined the staff for '78 as quarterbacks coach. The team dropped to a 1-12 mark before rallying to win the last three games. The Bengals closed the year with a 48-16 rout of Cleveland, a 32-point winning margin that stood until 2015 as Cincinnati's largest in the Battle of Ohio series. Prior to the season, CB Lemar Parrish and DE Coy Bacon were traded to Washington for the Redskins' first-round draft pick in 1979 (used to select RB Charles Alexander). Two Pro Bowlers, TE Bob Trumpy and S Tommy Casanova, retired prior to the season. On July 26, Paul Brown's eldest son, Robin, died of cancer at age 46, and Paul Brown had to cancel plans to be the presenter for Weeb Ewbank at Ewbank's Pro Football Hall of Fame induction. The Ben-Gals cheerleaders were in the news in '78. They attracted considerable new attention, going away from their "malt shop" look to a more revealing uniform, described at the time as "chic, smart and sexy, but not vulgar."

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League Rankings

Table inside Article
TOTAL RUSH PASS
OFFENSE 11 (304.5) 18 (133.2) 10 (171.3)
DEFENSE 10 (289.5) T-19 (149.8) 3 (139.8)

Year Totals

Table inside Article
PLAYS FIRST DOWNS NET YDS RUSH NET YDS PASS TOTAL NET YDS PTS
OFFENSE 1034 271 2131 2741 4872 252
DEFENSE 1036 269 2396 2236 4632 284
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Individual Leaders

Table inside Article
PLAYERS CATEGORY
Chris Bahr Scoring
Ken Anderson Passing
Pete Johnson Rushing
Isaac Curtis Receptions
Isaac Curtis Receiving Yards
Pat McInally Punting
Tony Davis Punt Return
Ray Griffin Kickoff Returns
Chris Bahr Field Goals
Dick Jauron Interceptions
Ross Browner Sacks
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Coaching Staff

Table inside Article
COACH POSITION
Homer Rice Head Coach
Howard Brinker Defensive Coordinator/Linebackers
Boyd Dowler Receivers
Frank Gansz Special Teams
Mike McCormack Offensive Line
Dick Modzelewski Defensive Line
George Sefcik Offensive Backfield
Charley Winner Defensive Backfield
Kim Wood Strength
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1978 NFL Draft: May 2-3

Table inside Article
ROUND PLAYER POSITION COLLEGE SELECTION NUMBER
1a Ross Browner (acquired from Philadelphia in trade on 7-10-74) DL Notre Dame 8
1b Blair Bush C Washington 16
2a Ray Griffin (acquired from Philadelphia in trade on 7-10-74) CB Ohio State 35
2b Deacon Turner RB San Diego State 45
3a Ted Vincent DT Wichita State 72
3b Don Bass (acquired from Denver in trade on 3-16-77) WR Houston 83
4 Dennis Law WR East Tennessee State 99
5a Tom Dinkel LB Kansas 126
5b Rob Hertel (acquired from Chicago in trade on 5-11-76) QB Southern California 131
6 Steve Geise RB Penn State 155
7a Joe Branson S Livingstone (N.C.) 182
7b Danny Bass (acquired from Denver in trade on 3-16-77) T Elon (N.C.) 193
8 Bill Miller T Western Illinois 211
9 Ron Shumon LB Wichita State 238
10 Tom DePaso LB Penn State 267
11a Calvin Prince (acquired from St. Louis in trade on 8-30-77) RB Louisville 293
11b Mark Donahue G Michigan 294
12 Kim Featsent WR Kent State 323

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