The Cincinnati Bengals were founded in 1966 in the AFL by the former Cleveland Browns owner Paul Brown, which also happens to be the name of their home stadium, in downtown Cincinnati. They joined the NFL in 1970, during the AFL-NFL merger, and have had little success since joining the league.
They are one of 12 teams to never have won a Super Bow, although they did make two during the 1980s, both times losing to the San Francisco 49ers each time. They did have recent success under Marvin Lewis, making the playoffs in 6 out of 7 seasons from 2009 to 2015, but did not have much success in the postseason, leading to Lewis being fired following the 2018 season.
With the number one overall pick in 2020, they picked Joe Burrow, who just won the National Championship with the LSU Tigers, and there are hopes that he can help rebuild the team moving forward. That being said, here are the NFL bobbleheads from the Cincinnati Bengals.
Chad Johnson – Wide Receiver 2001 – 2010
One of the most famous Bengals was Chad Johnson, who legally changed his name to Chad Ochocinco in 2008, in honor of his number, 85. He would legally changed it back in 2012.
When he wasn’t changing his name, Johnson was one of the most prolific receivers in the league, making 6 Pro Bowls in 7 years from 2003-2009, and leading the league in receiving yards in 2006. Sometimes his antics off the field took away from his play on it, but while he was with the Bengals he was at the top of the game.
Joe Mixon – Running Back – 2017 – Present
One of the new members on the team, Mixon joined the Bengals after being selected in the second round of the 2017 NFL Draft from the University of Oklahoma. After a decent rookie year, in which he played 14 games and rushed for 626 yards to go along with 287 yards receiving, he has had back-to-back 1,000 yard seasons with the Bengals. Paired with new quarterback Joe Burrow, fans in Cincinnati are excited to see what Mixon can do.
AJ Green – Wide Receiver 2011 – present
Selected with the 4th overall pick in the 2011 NFL Draft from the University of Georgia, Green has been one of the most dominant receivers of the last decade when healthy. He went to 7 straight Pro Bowls, from 2011 to 2017, before battling injuries in 2018 throughout the year that ended up with Green being placed in injured reserve, then suffered a torn ligament in his ankle and ended up missing the entire 2019 season.
The model of consistency on the field, Green went over 1,000 yards receiving in each of his first 5 years in the league, before injuries slowed him in his 6th season, allowing him to only play in 10 games, and he still had 964 yards.
The Bengals used the franchise tag in him, hoping that he can come back healthy and be the top target for rookie quarterback Joe Burrow.
Chris Collinsworth – Wide Receiver 1981 -1988
Know more now for being the broadcaster next to Al Michaels on NBC’s Sunday Night Football, Collinsworth had a good career with the Bengals for much of the 80s. Drafted in the second round of the 1981 NFL Draft from the University of Florida, he was selected to the Pro Bowl his first three years in the league.
He did catch 5 passes for 107 yards in the 1982 Super Bowl against the 49ers, but did have a costly fumble in the second quarter that led to a 49ers touchdown on the ensuing drive.
Carson Palmer – Quarterback 2003 – 2010
Selected as the number 1 overall pick in the 2003 NFL Draft, Palmer lead the Bengals to their first playoff appearance in 2005, after 14 years without making them. Throwing for over 3,000 yards in 5 of his 7 years with the team, Palmer was able to help bring the Bengals back into the playoff conversation, although he left before they were able to make consistent playoff runs under Marvin Lewis.
Corey Dillon – Running Back 1997 – 2003
Dillon was selected in the second round of the 1997 NFL Draft, and went to 3 straight Pro Bowls from 1999 – 2001. He reached 1,000 yards rushing in his first 6 years with the team, but unfortunately there wasn’t much help around him to get the team to the playoffs. He did go on to win a Super Bowl with the New England Patriots, when he rushed for his career high 1,635 yards.
Rudi Johnson – Running Back 2001 – 2007
Taken in the 4th round of the 2001 NFL Draft, Johnson was the heir apparent to Corey Dillon. Obviously not getting many carries his first two years with Dillon starting, he got his chance in 2003 when Dillon was injured.
A year later, when Dillon left for the New England Patriots, Rudi Johnson had his best year with the Bengals, setting a franchise record for rushing yards (1,454) and made his first and only Pro Bowl. The following year he broke his own record with 1,458 and helped the Bengals make the postseason for the first time since 1990.
Boomer Esiason – Quarterback 1984 – 1992
Esiason was chosen in the second round of the 1984 NFL Draft, which was surprising considering his successful college career at the University of Maryland. He was actually the first quarterback chosen in the draft, however, as Steve Young had joined the USFL.
He was a 4-time Pro Bowler, and led the Bengals to another closely contested Super Bowl loss to the San Francisco 49ers. That would be the same season he won the NFL MVP, throwing for over 3,500 yards and finishing with a 97.4 quarterback rating.
Who is your favorite Cincinnati Bengal? Do you think with the young stars that they will be able to get back to the playoffs and make a run for the first Super Bowl championship in the history of the franchise? Let me know in the comments below!