The Cincinnati Bengals were established in 1968 as an AHL expansion team. They played in the American Football League for two years before the 1970 merger with the NFL. Legendary coach Paul Brown was the first head coach of the Bengals.
Quarterback Ken Anderson would lead the team to multiple playoff appearances in the 1970's, but was unable to enjoy postseason success.
Cincinannti shared Riverfront Stadium with the city's MLB team, the Reds, before moving into their own facility, Paul Brown Stadium, in 2000.
Post-Paul Brown Era
Despite retiring from coaching in 1975, Brown served as Bengals Team President for the following 16 years. He was instrumental in drafting offensive lineman and hall of famer Anthony Muoz, who would lead Cinciannti to their first Super Bowl game in 1982, ultimately falling to the San Francisco 49ers.
Ken Anderson eventually lost the starting role to Boomer Esiason, who brought the Bengals back to the Super Bowl in 1989 where they would once again lose to the Joe Montana led 49ers.
Regular Season and Playoff Woes
The Bengals became a laughing stock in professional sports in the 1990's, accumulating the most losses in the NFL over the decade.
After hiring head coach Marvin Lewis in 2003, the Bengals became a formidable opponent, winning division titles behind quarterback and wide receiver duos of Carson Palmer and Chad Johnson and Andy Dalton and A.J. Green. However, Cincannti was never able to win a playoff game under Coach Lewis and he was eventually fired in 2018.