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1981 Cincinnati Bengals season

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Title: 1981 Cincinnati Bengals season  
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Subject: Buffalo Bills, Super Bowl XVI, Candlestick Park, AFC Championship Game, The Catch (American football), Dick LeBeau, NFL on CBS, AFC North, National Football League Most Valuable Player Award, List of Super Bowl champions
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1981 Cincinnati Bengals season

1981 Cincinnati Bengals season
Head coach Forrest Gregg
Owner Paul Brown
Home field Riverfront Stadium
Results
Record 12–4–0
Division place 1st AFC Central
Playoff finish Lost Super Bowl XVI
Timeline
Previous season      Next season
< 1980      1982 >

The 1981 Cincinnati Bengals season was the team's 14th year in professional football and its 12th with the National Football League. The team won their first AFC Championship, but lost Super Bowl XVI to San Francisco.

Cincinnati had at least a share of the AFC Central lead the entire season. On December 13, quarterback Ken Anderson threw two touchdown passes as the Bengals clinched the division with a 17–10 win over the Steelers.

Ken Anderson led the NFL in passing in 1981 with a 98.5 rating.

On Jan. 3, the Bengals beat Buffalo, 28–21, in an AFC Divisional Playoff game. A week later, playing in their first AFC Championship Game, the Bengals defeated San Diego, 27–7, at Riverfront Stadium in a temperature of nine degrees below zero with a wind-chill factor of minus-59.

In Super Bowl XVI on Jan. 24 in Pontiac, Mich., the Bengals trailed 20–0 at halftime and lost to San Francisco, 26–21.

Offseason

Before the season, the Bengals unveiled new uniforms with tiger-striped helmets, jerseys and pants.

NFL Draft

1981 Cincinnati Bengals Draft
Round Pick # Overall Name Position College
1 10 10 David Verser Wide Receiver Kansas
2 9 37 Cris Collinsworth Wide Receiver Florida
3 8 64 John Simmons Defensive Back SMU
4 10 93 Guy Frazier Linebacker Wyoming
5 9 120 Benjie Pryor Tight End Pittsburgh
6 8 146 Rex Robinson Kicker Georgia
7 10 176 Jeff Schuh Linebacker Minnesota
8 9 202 Bobby Kemp Defensive Back Cal State-Fullerton
9 8 229 Jim Hannula Offensive Tackle Northern Illinois
9 9 230 Samoa Samoa Running Back Washington State
10 10 258 Hubert Simpson Running Back Tennessee
11 9 285 Robert Jackson Defensive Back Central Michigan
12 8 312 Mark O'Connell Quarterback Ball State

Regular season

Schedule

Week Date Opponent Result Attendance
1 September 6, 1981 Seattle Seahawks W 27–21
41,177
2 September 13, 1981 at New York Jets W 31–30
49,454
3 September 20, 1981 Cleveland Browns L 20–17
52,170
4 September 27, 1981 Buffalo Bills W 27–24
46,418
5 October 4, 1981 at Houston Oilers L 17–10
44,350
6 October 11, 1981 at Baltimore Colts W 41–19
33,060
7 October 18, 1981 Pittsburgh Steelers W 34–7
57,090
8 October 25, 1981 at New Orleans Saints L 17–7
46,336
9 November 1, 1981 Houston Oilers W 34–21
54,736
10 November 8, 1981 at San Diego Chargers W 40–17
51,259
11 November 15, 1981 Los Angeles Rams W 24–10
56,836
12 November 22, 1981 Denver Broncos W 38–21
57,207
13 November 29, 1981 at Cleveland Browns W 41–21
75,186
14 December 6, 1981 San Francisco 49ers L 21–3
56,796
15 December 13, 1981 at Pittsburgh Steelers W 17–10
50,623
16 December 20, 1981 at Atlanta Falcons W 30–28
35,972

Game summaries

Week 13: at Cleveland Browns

1 2 34Total
Bengals 14 14 01341
Browns 0 7 01421

at Cleveland Municipal Stadium, Cleveland, Ohio

  • Date: Sunday, November 29
  • Game time: 1:00 p.m.
  • Game weather: 36°F, wind 10 mph
  • Pro-Football-Reference.com

Playoffs

Week Date Opponent Result Attendance
Divisional January 3, 1982 Buffalo Bills W 28–21
55,420
Conference Championship January 10, 1982 San Diego Chargers W 27–7
46,302
Super Bowl January 24, 1982 N San Francisco 49ers L 26–21
81,270

Standings

Roster

Quarterbacks

Running Backs

Wide Receivers

Tight Ends

Offensive Linemen

Defensive Linemen

Linebackers

Defensive Backs

Special Teams

Playoffs

AFC Divisional Playoff

  • January 3 Buffalo W 28–21 55,420 Riverfront

AFC Championship Game

  • Freezer Bowl January 10 San Diego W 27–7 46,302 Riverfront

Super Bowl

  • Super Bowl XVI January 24 San Francisco L 21–26 81,270 Pontiac Silverdome

Awards and records

  • Ken Anderson, NFL MVP [1]
  • Ken Anderson, Bert Bell Award[2]
  • Ken Anderson, Franchise Record (since broken), Touchdown Passes, 29 Passes [3]
  • Ken Anderson, Led NFL, Passer Rating, 98.4 Rating [4]

Milestones

  • Ken Anderson, Franchise Record (since broken), Most Touchdown Passes in One Season, 29 Passes [3]
  • Cris Collinsworth, 1st 1,000 Yard Receiving Season (1,009 yards) [5]
  • Pete Johnson, 1,000 Yard Rushing Season (1,077 yards) [6]

References

External links

  • Bengals on Pro Football Reference
  • Bengals Schedule on jt-sw.com
  • Bengals History on Official Site

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