The 1997Cincinnati Bengals season was the team's 30th year in professional football and its 28th with the National Football League. After winning the first game of the season, the Bengals lost their next seven games, to effectively end their playoff hopes. The struggles cost Jeff Blake his starting quarterback job, as former Bengal starting QB Boomer Esiason, who was reacquired in the off-season, came back in to lead the Bengals. With Esiason back under center the Bengals started to win as he connected on 13 touchdown passes, while giving up two interceptions. Under Esiason the Bengals won six of their final eight games, to finish with a 7–9 record. Just as the Bengals were ready to give Esiason the job full-time, he got a lucrative offer from ABC-TV to do games on Monday Night Football. Since he would earn more money on ABC he decided to retire. Running back Corey Dillon set a rookie rushing record (since broken) for most yards in a game. On December 4, 1997, Dillon rushed for 246 yards in a game versus the Tennessee Oilers.
For the season, the Bengals sported new uniforms and a new logo. They would remain until 2003. The new tiger head logo remains in use today.