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1981 Cincinnati Bengals season

1981 Cincinnati Bengals season
Head coach Forrest Gregg
General manager Paul Brown
Home field Riverfront Stadium
Results
Record 12–4
Division place 1st AFC Central
Playoff finish Won AFC Divisional Playoff (Bills) 28-21
Won AFC Championship Game (Chargers) 27-7
Lost Super Bowl XVI (49ers) 26-21
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 (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.

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

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

NFL Draft

Main article: 1981 NFL Draft
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

Staff

1981 Cincinnati Bengals staff
Front office
  • President – John Sawyer
  • General Manager – Paul Brown
  • 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

1981 Cincinnati Bengals roster
Quarterbacks

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Tight ends

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Defensive linemen

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Defensive backs

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Rookies in italics

[2]

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 1

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1 234Total
Seahawks 21 000 21
• Bengals 0 10107 27
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[3]


Week 13

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

at Cleveland Municipal Stadium, Cleveland, Ohio

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First Quarter
Second Quarter
  • CIN – Cris Collinsworth 7 yard pass from Ken Anderson (Jim Breech kick) – Bengals 21–0
  • CLE – Ricky Feacher 30 yard pass from Brian Sipe (Matt Bahr kick) – Bengals 21–7
  • CIN – M.L. Harris 2 yard pass from Ken Anderson (Jim Breech kick) – Bengals 28–7
Fourth Quarter
  • CLE – Mike Pruitt 1 yard run (Matt Bahr kick) – Bengals 28–14
  • CIN – Pete Johnson 11 yard run (Jim Breech kick) – Bengals 35–14
  • CIN – Pete Johnson 1 yard run (Jim Breech kick) – Bengals 42–14
  • CLE – Greg Pruitt 7 yard pass from Paul McDonald (Matt Bahr kick) – Bengals 42–21
Bengals
  • Ken Anderson
    26/32, 235 Yds, 4 TD
  • Pete Johnson
    21 Rush, 105 Yds, 2 TD
  • Cris Collinsworth
    5 Rec, 76 Yds, 2 TD
Browns
  • Brian Sipe
    19/28, 217 Yds, TD
  • Mike Pruitt
    21 Rush, 83 Yds, TD
  • Ricky Feacher
    3 Rec, 98 Yds, TD

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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

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

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 [4]
  • Ken Anderson, Bert Bell Award[5]
  • Ken Anderson, Franchise Record (since broken), Touchdown Passes, 29 Passes [6]
  • Ken Anderson, Led NFL, Passer Rating, 98.4 Rating [7]

Milestones

  • Ken Anderson, Franchise Record (since broken), Most Touchdown Passes in One Season, 29 Passes [6]
  • Cris Collinsworth, 1st 1,000 Yard Receiving Season (1,009 yards) [8]
  • Pete Johnson, 1,000 Yard Rushing Season (1,077 yards) [9]

References

  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. ^ NFL 2001 Record and Fact Book, Workman Publishing Co, New York,NY, ISBN 0-7611-2480-2, p. 400
  5. ^ http://www.maxwellfootballclub.org/content/awards/bell/past_bell.htm
  6. ^ a b NFL 2001 Record and Fact Book, Workman Publishing Co, New York,NY, ISBN 0-7611-2480-2, p. 37
  7. ^ NFL 2001 Record and Fact Book, Workman Publishing Co, New York,NY, ISBN 0-7611-2480-2, p. 447
  8. ^ NFL 2001 Record and Fact Book, Workman Publishing Co, New York,NY, ISBN 0-7611-2480-2, p. 442
  9. ^ NFL 2001 Record and Fact Book, Workman Publishing Co, New York,NY, ISBN 0-7611-2480-2, p. 437

External links