The greatest Cincinnati Bengals seasons of all-time

Super Bowl LVI - Los Angeles Rams v Cincinnati Bengals
Super Bowl LVI - Los Angeles Rams v Cincinnati Bengals / Michael Owens/GettyImages
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4. 1975 (11-3, 2nd in AFC Central)

This was Paul Brown’s final season as the head coach for the orange and black and Ken Anderson's fifth season in Cincinnati. This was also his best year statistically until this point. In fact, it is his second-best season as a professional, only bested by another season on this list.

Our boys had the best start ever in franchise history given they had only existed for seven years at this point. But they started 6-0 looking like one of the best teams in the NFL until they ran into Terry Bradshaw and the Steelers.

Of the Bengals' three losses, two of them came at the hands of the Steel Curtain, which ultimately is why they would finish second in the AFC Central. Not only because of those two losses but also an inexplicable loss to the Browns who finished 3-11.

What was normally an explosive offense ended up being stifled in the Divisional Round against the Raiders in Oakland, as Ken Stabler and the Black and Silver ran up 31 points into the fourth quarter. Anderson did his best but 17 points were too large of a deficit to come back from. Cincy lost 31-28.

Though the Bengals made the postseason for the third time in their seven-year existence, they would not make the postseason again until 1981.

3. 2021 (10-7, 1st in the AFC North)

What is there to say about the 2021 season that hasn’t been said by every sports pundit? Many people didn’t think the Bengals would do what they did in 2021. Many fans were hoping to at least be contending for a playoff spot.

There were still a lot of question marks, the big one was how would Joe Burrow bounce back from his injury in 2020. The answer was spectacular. Ja’Marr Chase was a big help in Burrow’s bounce-back.

He gave Cincy a big play option and blew the top off several defenses, well, this and adding to the defense through free agency. The defensive front line put pressure on every quarterback they faced. No one was talking about the line leading up to the Super Bowl and they balled out.

Obviously, the reason this ranks so high is that they made it to the Super Bowl. But even if they had lost in the AFC Championship to Kansas City or even the Titans, the fact that they surprised everyone is why this ranks so high.

Oh and after 31 years, Cincinnati finally won a playoff game.

Though the season didn’t end victoriously, the ride was incredible.