1981 Cincinnati Bengals season
|1981 Cincinnati Bengals season|
|Head coach||Forrest Gregg|
|General manager||Paul Brown|
|Home field||Riverfront Stadium|
|Division place||1st AFC Central|
Won AFC Divisional Playoff (Bills) 28–21 |
Won AFC Championship Game (Chargers) 27–7
Lost Super Bowl XVI (49ers) 26–21
The 1981 Cincinnati Bengals season was the team's 14th year in professional football and its 12th with the National Football League (NFL). 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 January 3, 1982, 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. This game is referred to as the Freezer Bowl.
In Super Bowl XVI on January 24, 1982, in Pontiac, Michigan, the Bengals trailed 20–0 at halftime and lost to San Francisco, 26–21.
Before the season, the Bengals unveiled new uniforms with tiger-striped helmets, jerseys and pants.
|1981 Cincinnati Bengals draft|
|1||10||David Verser||Wide receiver||Kansas|
|2||37||Cris Collinsworth *||Wide receiver||Florida|
|3||64||John Simmons||Defensive back||SMU|
|5||120||Benjie Pryor||Tight end||Pittsburgh|
|8||202||Bobby Kemp||Defensive back||Cal State Fullerton|
|9||229||Jim Hannula||Offensive tackle||Northern Illinois|
|9||230||Samoa Samoa||Running back||Washington State|
|10||258||Hubert Simpson||Running back||Tennessee|
|11||285||Robert Jackson||Defensive back||Central Michigan|
|12||312||Mark O'Connell||Quarterback||Ball State|
|Pro Bowl during careerMade roster Made at least one|
|1981 Cincinnati Bengals staff|
Special teams coaches
Strength and conditioning
|1981 Cincinnati Bengals roster|
|1||September 6, 1981||Seattle Seahawks||W 27–21|
|2||September 13, 1981||at New York Jets||W 31–30|
|3||September 20, 1981||Cleveland Browns||L 20–17|
|4||September 27, 1981||Buffalo Bills||W 27–24|
|5||October 4, 1981||at Houston Oilers||L 17–10|
|6||October 11, 1981||at Baltimore Colts||W 41–19|
|7||October 18, 1981||Pittsburgh Steelers||W 34–7|
|8||October 25, 1981||at New Orleans Saints||L 17–7|
|9||November 1, 1981||Houston Oilers||W 34–21|
|10||November 8, 1981||at San Diego Chargers||W 40–17|
|11||November 15, 1981||Los Angeles Rams||W 24–10|
|12||November 22, 1981||Denver Broncos||W 38–21|
|13||November 29, 1981||at Cleveland Browns||W 41–21|
|14||December 6, 1981||San Francisco 49ers||L 21–3|
|15||December 13, 1981||at Pittsburgh Steelers||W 17–10|
|16||December 20, 1981||at Atlanta Falcons||W 30–28|
- Date: November 29
- Game time: 1:00 p.m.
- Game weather: 36°F, wind 10 mph
|Divisional||January 3, 1982||Buffalo Bills||W 28–21|
|Conference Championship||January 10, 1982||San Diego Chargers||W 27–7|
|Super Bowl||January 24, 1982||N San Francisco 49ers||L 26–21|
Awards and records
- Ken Anderson, NFL MVP 
- Ken Anderson, Bert Bell Award
- Ken Anderson, Franchise Record (since broken), Touchdown Passes, 29 Passes 
- Ken Anderson, Led NFL, Passer Rating, 98.4 Rating 
- Ken Anderson, Franchise Record (since broken), Most Touchdown Passes in One Season, 29 Passes 
- Cris Collinsworth, 1st 1,000 Yard Receiving Season (1,009 yards) 
- Pete Johnson, 1,000 Yard Rushing Season (1,077 yards) 
- "1981 Cincinnati Bengals draftees". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved October 6, 2014.
- "1981 Cincinnati Bengals starters, roster, and players". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved October 8, 2014.
- Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved 2014-Jul-03.
- NFL 2001 Record and Fact Book, Workman Publishing Co, New York, ISBN 0-7611-2480-2, p. 400
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on June 19, 2009. Retrieved 2010-06-28.
- NFL 2001 Record and Fact Book, Workman Publishing Co, New York, ISBN 0-7611-2480-2, p. 37
- NFL 2001 Record and Fact Book, Workman Publishing Co, New York, ISBN 0-7611-2480-2, p. 447
- NFL 2001 Record and Fact Book, Workman Publishing Co, New York, ISBN 0-7611-2480-2, p. 442
- NFL 2001 Record and Fact Book, Workman Publishing Co, New York, ISBN 0-7611-2480-2, p. 437