While the Cincinnati Bengals have never won the top prize or held a Super Bowl parade, there are still some bright spots in their storied franchise. Let's check out the best seasons in Bengals history.
7. 2009 (10-6, 1st in the AFC North)
This season deserves a special mention among the best seasons in Cincinnati’s history. In 2008 the Bengals started 0-8 and went on to have a dismal season finishing 4-11. It began to feel like the team may part ways with Marvin Lewis even after his success just three seasons prior in 2005.
In 2009, the black and orange squad turned things around despite several adversities to finish 10-6 and win the AFC North. The first adversity was the 2009 earthquakes.
The Bengals had three Samoans on the squad: Domata Peko, Jonathan Fanene, and Rey Maualuga. Jonathan Fanene lost four family members on his father’s side. It was a devastating disaster that caused a deadly Tsunami as well.
Mike Zimmer earned Assistant Coach of the Year in 2009. It’s sad and impressive that he had one of his best coaching seasons as his wife Vikki Zimmer passed away in 2009. Unfortunately, that was not the only death close to the Bengals family that season.
Wide receiver Chris Henry died on December 16th, 2009 just three days after their loss to the Vikings. Chris was having a domestic dispute with his fiancée Loleini Tonga.
"Police said the domestic dispute began Wednesday at a home about a half-mile away from where Henry was found. He had jumped into the bed of the pickup as his fiancée was driving away from the residence, and at some point when she was driving "came out of the back of the vehicle," authorities said."- ESPN
Through all of that Cincy finished 10-6, first in the AFC North. Marvin Lewis was awarded Coach of the Year. They, unfortunately, lost to the Mark Sanchez-led Jets in the wild-card round 24-14.