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This Day in Bengals History: Fans' Rumble in The Jungle helps lift Bengals to first post-season win

820103-Alexander-Charles-playoffs_touchdown (AP)
Running back Charles Alexander scores a four-yard rushing touchdown against the Buffalo Bills in the Divisional Round on Jan. 3, 1982 in Cincinnati, Ohio.

January 3, 1982

The Bengals offer a steel-belted effort today in a tight, taut, well-played AFC Divisional game that sees the Bills come back from 14-0 and 21-14 deficits at Riverfront Stadium. But the Bengals stave off a late threat to win their first post-season game ever. Running back Charles Alexander races for a career-high 72 yards and two touchdowns. Record-setting tight end Dan Ross makes a catch in all four scoring drives as well as a third-down conversion on the clinching drive to lead the lethal passing attack with six catches for 71 yards. The defense picks off quarterback Joe Ferguson twice in a 28-21 victory.

"It's been a long time and it's sweet," says 13-year cornerback Ken Riley, who played in the club's three previous post-season appearances in 1970, 1973, and 1975 that were all one-and-done.

NFL passing champion Ken Anderson (a crisp 15 of 21 for 192 yards and a TD) makes sure his offense doesn't don't turn it over, either, but it's the orange-and-black clad crazies whom call themselves "The Jungle," that have a hand in lifting their team into next week's AFC championship right here against the Chargers.

The Bengals defeated the Buffalo Bills 28-21 on Jan. 3, 1982 to win their first postseason game ever.

With 2:58 left and the Bengals clinging to a 28-21 lead after an Anderson-to-Cris Collinsworth 16-yard TD pass snaps a 21-21 knot, Ferguson converts a fourth-and-three on a 12-yard throw to wide receiver Lou Piccone that puts the ball on the Bengals 9. But the play is nullified by a delay-of-game penalty that Ferguson blames partly on the crowd noise blasting out of the north end zone. Coming out of a timeout the Bills run Piccone and wide receiver Ron Jessie on the field late to match the shot-gun formation.

"The combination of that and the crowd noise and me having to slow down the enunciation of my cadence at the line of scrimmage probably caused the penalty," Ferguson says. "(The crowd) had an effect. No doubt."


This is an excerpt from the limited edition book "This Day in Bengals History" by Geoff Hobson. To purchase the book, visit the Bengals Pro Shop or go to

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