1981 Cincinnati Bengals season

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1981 Cincinnati Bengals season
Head coachForrest Gregg
General managerPaul Brown
OwnerPaul Brown
Home fieldRiverfront Stadium
Results
Record12–4
Division place1st AFC Central
Playoff finishWon AFC Divisional Playoff (Bills) 28–21
Won AFC Championship Game (Chargers) 27–7
Lost Super Bowl XVI (49ers) 21–26
The Bengals playing against the 49ers in Super Bowl XVI.

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.

Offseason[edit]

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

NFL Draft[edit]

1981 Cincinnati Bengals draft
Round Pick Player Position College Notes
1 10 David Verser  Wide receiver Kansas
2 37 Cris Collinsworth *  Wide receiver Florida
3 64 John Simmons  Defensive back SMU
4 93 Guy Frazier  Linebacker Wyoming
5 120 Benjie Pryor  Tight end Pittsburgh
6 146 Rex Robinson  Placekicker Georgia
7 176 Jeff Schuh  Linebacker Minnesota
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
      Made roster    *   Made at least one Pro Bowl during career

[1]

Personnel[edit]

Staff[edit]

1981 Cincinnati Bengals staff
Front office
  • Owner/General Manager – Paul Brown
  • President – John Sawyer
  • Director of Player Personnel – Pete Brown

Head coaches

Offensive coaches

Defensive coaches

Special teams coaches

  • Special Teams – Bruce Coslet

Strength and conditioning

  • Strength – Kim Wood

Roster[edit]

1981 Cincinnati Bengals roster
Quarterbacks

Running backs

Wide receivers

Tight ends

Offensive linemen

Defensive linemen

Linebackers

Defensive backs

Special teams

Reserve lists

{{{reserve_lists}}}


Rookies in italics

[2]

Regular season[edit]

Schedule[edit]

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[edit]

Week 1[edit]

1 234Total
Seahawks 21 000 21
• Bengals 0 10107 27
  • Date: September 6
  • Location: Riverfront Stadium, Cincinnati
  • Game start: 1:00 p.m.
  • Game attendance: 41,177
  • Game weather: 69°F; wind 8
  • Referee: Bob Frederic
  • Television network: NBC

[3]

Week 2[edit]

1 234Total
• Bengals 0 10714 31
Jets 0 17310 30

Week 3[edit]

1 234Total
• Browns 3 1007 20
Bengals 0 0314 17
  • Date: September 20
  • Location: Riverfront Stadium

Week 4[edit]

1 234OTTotal
Bills 0 140100 24
• Bengals 0 100143 27
  • Date: September 27
  • Location: Riverfront Stadium

Week 5[edit]

1 234Total
Bengals 3 070 10
• Oilers 0 773 17
  • Date: October 4
  • Location: Astrodome
  • Game weather: Indoors (dome)

Week 6[edit]

1 234Total
• Bengals 3 14717 41
Colts 0 5014 19

Week 7[edit]

1 234Total
Steelers 0 007 7
• Bengals 10 3147 34
  • Date: October 18
  • Location: Riverfront Stadium

Week 8[edit]

1 234Total
Bengals 0 007 7
• Saints 0 0710 17

Week 9[edit]

1 234Total
Oilers 7 0014 21
• Bengals 0 2437 34
  • Date: November 1
  • Location: Riverfront Stadium

Week 10[edit]

1 234Total
• Bengals 10 2109 40
Chargers 0 1007 17

Week 11[edit]

1 234Total
Rams 0 307 10
• Bengals 10 0014 24
  • Date: November 15
  • Location: Riverfront Stadium


Week 12[edit]

1 234Total
Broncos 0 7014 21
• Bengals 14 14010 38
  • Date: November 22
  • Location: Riverfront Stadium

Week 13[edit]

1 234Total
• Bengals 14 14013 41
Browns 0 7014 21

[4]

Week 14[edit]

1 234Total
• 49ers 7 707 21
Bengals 0 300 3
  • Date: December 6
  • Location: Riverfront Stadium

Week 15[edit]

1 234Total
• Bengals 0 1070 17
Steelers 0 307 10

Week 16[edit]

1 234Total
• Bengals 10 1703 30
Falcons 0 2107 28

Playoffs[edit]

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

Divisional[edit]

1 234Total
Bills 0 777 21
• Bengals 14 077 28

Conference Championship[edit]

1 234Total
Chargers 0 700 7
• Bengals 10 737 27
  • Date: January 10
  • Location: Riverfront Stadium

Super Bowl[edit]

1 234Total
• 49ers 7 1306 26
Bengals 0 0714 21

Standings[edit]

AFC Central
W L T PCT DIV CONF PF PA STK
Cincinnati Bengals(1) 12 4 0 .750 4–2 10–2 421 304 W2
Pittsburgh Steelers 8 8 0 .500 3–3 5–7 356 297 L3
Houston Oilers 7 9 0 .438 4–2 6–6 281 355 W1
Cleveland Browns 5 11 0 .313 1–5 2–10 276 375 L5

Awards and records[edit]

  • Ken Anderson, NFL MVP [5]
  • Ken Anderson, Bert Bell Award[6]
  • Ken Anderson, Franchise Record (since broken), Touchdown Passes, 29 Passes [7]
  • Ken Anderson, Led NFL, Passer Rating, 98.4 Rating [8]

Milestones[edit]

  • Ken Anderson, Franchise Record (since broken), Most Touchdown Passes in One Season, 29 Passes [7]
  • Cris Collinsworth, 1st 1,000 Yard Receiving Season (1,009 yards) [9]
  • Pete Johnson, 1,000 Yard Rushing Season (1,077 yards) [10]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "1981 Cincinnati Bengals draftees". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved October 6, 2014.
  2. ^ "1981 Cincinnati Bengals starters, roster, and players". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved October 8, 2014.
  3. ^ Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved 2014-Jul-03.
  4. ^ Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved 2018-Oct-16.
  5. ^ NFL 2001 Record and Fact Book, Workman Publishing Co, New York, ISBN 0-7611-2480-2, p. 400
  6. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on June 19, 2009. Retrieved 2010-06-28.
  7. ^ a b NFL 2001 Record and Fact Book, Workman Publishing Co, New York, ISBN 0-7611-2480-2, p. 37
  8. ^ NFL 2001 Record and Fact Book, Workman Publishing Co, New York, ISBN 0-7611-2480-2, p. 447
  9. ^ NFL 2001 Record and Fact Book, Workman Publishing Co, New York, ISBN 0-7611-2480-2, p. 442
  10. ^ NFL 2001 Record and Fact Book, Workman Publishing Co, New York, ISBN 0-7611-2480-2, p. 437

External links[edit]