After years of frustration, the subject team collapsed in 1978, at least in the first half. The Cincinnati Bengals did have a rousing finish. The Cats lost their first eight games; then came an upset in
Week 9 Houston Oilers at home.
The Bengals survived Earl Campbell gaining 102 yards in 18 tries. Kenny Anderson completed 11 of 16 passes for 268 yards and one touchdown. Issac Curtis caught four passes for 130 yards and a touchdown. The Bengals shut out Houston through three quarters, 21 to 0. They coasted a bit too early in the fourth. Final-Bengals 28 Oilers 13. Houston was 10-6 on the season and lost 34 to 5 in the AFC Title Game at Pittsburgh 34 to 5.
Cincinnati lost four consecutive game and were 1-12 before the year end rally.
Week 14 Atlanta Falcons at home.
Archie Griffin and Pete Johnson together put 164 yards on the ground for two touchdowns. The overall play forced the Falcons to throw too often and two defensive backs each got a touchdown. Interception Return Yardage-Dick Jauron for 24 yards and Scott Perry for 39 yards. Final Bengals 37 Falcons 7. Atlanta was 9-7 in 1978. In the Post Season, the Falcons beat the Philadelphia Eagles 14 to 13 and then lost to the Dallas Cowboys 27 to 20.
Week 15 at Los Angeles Rams.
The Cincinnati Bengals came from being down 13 to 0 after the first quarter to their best win in 1978. The Rams were 12-4 and lost 28 to 0 in the NFC Championship to the Dallas Cowboys. Pete Johnson carried 16 times for for 86 yards. Final-Bengals 20 Rams 19.
Week 16 Cleveland Browns at home.
Fans could, for about three quarters, view this as a contest between two running backs. Greg Pruitt from the Browns carried 22 times for 182 yards and a touchdown. Pete Johnson from the Bengals carried 27 times for 160 yards and a touchdown. Cincinnati led 24 to 16 after three quarters. In the fourth quarter, the Bengals returned two interceptions for touchdowns. Scott Perry returned his interception 16 yards for a touchdown; Ron Shuman did likewise for 48 yards. For the entire game, Kenny Anderson completed 14 passes for 256 yards and two touchdowns. Issac Curtis caught seven passes for 138 yards. The Bengals scored 24 points in the final quarter to zero for Cleveland. Final-Bengals 48 Browns 16. The Cleveland Browns were 8-8 in 1978.
After the subject year, the team went downhill until 1981 when they did an upward slide to the Super Bowl.
The Minnesota Viking routed the Bengals in the ninth week of the 1977 season dropping them to 4-5. Cincinnati won four in a row after that putting the team in contention for the playoffs which they missed. Two games of that streak were standouts and were at home.
Week 10 Miami Dolphins
The outstanding player for this game was on the losing Dolphins. LeRoy Harris carried 20 times for 108 yards. The Bengals intercepted three passes. Marvin Cobb returned his interception 34 yards. Bengals 23 Dolphins 17. Miami was 10-4 in 1977 but missed the playoffs. They were a playoff team.
Week 13 Pittsburgh Steelers
LeMar Parrish returned an interception 47 yards for a touchdown on the game’s first play. The Bengals, with halftime adjustments, completely stalled Pittsburgh in the second half. Franco Harris gained 99 yards but only five came after halftime. Ken Anderson completed 15 passes for 303 yards and one touchdown. Billy Brooks caught six passes for 166 yards. Bengals 17 Steelers 10. Cincinnati broke a six game losing streak with Pittsburgh.
Both the Bengals and the Steelers were 8-5 going into the final weekend. Cincinnati had the tie breaker in the event both teams won or lost. The Bengals lost to the Houston Oilers 21 to 16 while Pittsburgh rallied to beat the San Diego Chargers 10 to 9. The Bengals stayed home for the Holidays.
In six years the Bengals, despite some really good teams and big victories, made the playoffs only twice and lost in the first round each time. The Super Bowl would come in the 80s. Summary:
1973 10-4; lost to the Miami Dolphins 34 to 16
1975 11-3; lost to the Oakland Raiders 31 to 28; they beat the Raiders during the regular season 14 to 10
The team in the subject year finished at 10-4 for a mathematical tie with the Pittsburgh Steelers for first place in the AFC Central. However, the Steelers beat the Bengals twice; the team stayed home for the Playoffs. Cincinnati could not even score a touchdown in either game. The Steelers beat the Bengals 23 to 6 in Pittsburgh and in a blizzard won 7 to 3 in Ohio. The Bengals did defeat the Los Angeles Rams at River Front Stadium 20 to 12. The Rams were 10-3-1 and lost to the Minnesota Vikings 24 to 13 in the NFC Title Game.
Defense was the word that day for the Bengals. They recorded two sacks for 33 yards in losses and got four turnovers. Boobie Clarke was the offensive standout. He ran 16 times for 70 yards and a touchdown. He also caught three passes for 39 yards and another touchdown. Again the final-Bengals 20 Rams 12.
The above job is certainly unappreciated and requires as much timing and precision as kicking itself. Don’t forget that the Philadelphia Eagles brought back Ty Detmer just to hold the ball for the 2006 Wild Card Game at Lincoln Financial Field. David Ackers kicked three field goals that day. The last was from the 38 yard away giving the Eagles a 23 to 20 win over the New York Giants.
In the past teams have used for holders good ball handling quarterbacks; running backs especially those associated with the option play; wide receivers; and defensive backs. The current trend is to use punters which seems the best choice. Here are three cases where the holder had a real impact for Philadelphia.
1968 Thanksgiving Day at Detroit. After two days of rain, the field was muddy, wet, and sloppy. The players often left deep footprints in the mud. The bad weather actually made this a fun game to watch. The Eagles had lost all previous 11 games. The Detroit Li0ns, at 4-6-1, were eight point favorites.
The methodical Eagles got one field goal in each quarter and the defense gave up virtually nothing. The 12 to 0 final score was the Eagles first win; and it was a shut out on national television. The Eagles coach Joe Kuharich and the players were more relaxed than happy
Sam Baker, with his four field goals, became the second All Time Scorer in NFL history. Sure footed Tom Woodeshick somehow managed to gain 79 yards. Joe Scarpati held the ball for Baker on the sloppy turf and this was very difficult.
1981 Redskins at Washington. John Sciarra fumbled the snap on the 15 yard line on the last play of the game and the Eagles lost 15 to 13. The field goal should have been an easy one from 25 yards. This was one of four consecutive games that the Eagles lost after a 7-2 start. This loss was costly and saw Philadelphia fall from a championship team to mediocrity. The team finished at 10-6.
1997 Eagles at Dallas on Monday Night Football. Punter Tommy Hutton on the last play fumbled at the 10 yard line and the Eagles lost 21 to 20. I was all set for a 20 yard chip shot and a 23 to 21 victory. The Eagles finished the season at 6-9-1 so there was no playoff implication. Nevertheless a loss, especially to Dallas, always hurts.
The AFC East was the best by far in football. Pittsburgh won the East at 12-2. The Bengals were second at 11-3. And the Houston Oilers were third and out of the playoffs with a good record of 10-4. Pittsburgh defeated both teams twice. Cincinnati did likewise with Houston. There were three big Bengal wins.
Week 3 at Houston.
Somehow the Bengals survived seven penalties for 107 yards and seven sacks for 34 yards. Cincinnati got five turnovers and and gave up just 176 total yards. Kenny Anderson went 19 for 28 for 210 yards and three touchdowns. Final Bengals 21 Oilers 19.
Week 6 Oakland Raiders at home.
Penalties and turnovers dominated the game. Both sides seemed like they did not want to win. Oakland had eight penalties for 57 yards and the Bengals had seven for 58 yards. Both Kennys, Stabler and Anderson, threw four interceptions. For the Bengals, Marvin Cobb returned an interception 52 yards for a touchdown. Final Bengals 14 Raiders 10. The Oakland Raiders record for 1975 was 11-3
Week 11 Houston at home.
John Reeves played for an injured Ken Anderson and completed 13 of 23 passes for 162 yards and three touchdowns. However, the ground game was the story for this game. For the Bengals Stan Fritz gained 88 yards. For the Oilers Fred Willis gained 86 yards and Ron Coleman gained 88 yards. Final Bengals 23 Oilers 19.
At Oakland-The Raiders defeated the Wild Card Bengals 31 to 28 in the first round of the playoffs.
The easier a win is for the Philadelphia Eagles, the more I like it. It is much better for my nerves and the backups can gain more experience. Here is a history of some one sided Eagle victories over the Reid era.
2001 Dallas Cowboys at home.
First Half-Eagles 33 Cowboys 6 and Second Half Eagles 7 Cowboys 18-Philadelphia won 40 to 18. Point Differential was 27 in the first half and declined to 22 at the end. The Eagles scored 82% of their points in the first half.
2004 at Dallas Cowboys
First Half-Eagles 35 Cowboys 14 and Second Half Eagles 14 Cowboys 7-Philadelpia won 49 to 21. Point Differential was 21 in the first half and rose to 28 at the end. The Eagles scored 71% of their points in the first half.
2004 Green Bay Packers at home.
First Half-Eagles 35 Packers 3 and Second Half Eagles 12 Cowboys 14-Philadelphia won 47 to 17. Point Differential was 32 in the first half and declined to 30 at the end. The Eagles scored 75% of their points in the first half.
2005 San Francisco Forty Niners at home.
First Half-Eagles 28 Forty Niners 0 and in the Second Half Eagles 14 Forty Niners 3-Philadelphia won 42 to 3. Point Differential was 28 in the first half and rose to 39 at the end. The Eagles scored 67% of their points in the first half.
2007 Detroit Lions at home.
First Half-Eagles 42 Lions 21 and in the Second Half Eagles 14 Lions 0-Philadelphia won 56 to 21. Point Differential was 21 in the first half and rose to 35 at the end. The Eagles scored 75% of their points in the first half.
2009 Carolina Panthers at home.
First Half-Eagles 31 Panthers 10 and in the Second Half Eagles 7 Panthers 0-Philadelphia won 38 to 10. Point Differential was 21 in the first half and rose to 28 at the end. The Eagles scored 82% of their points in the first half.
Eleven weeks into the subject season, the Bengals were 7-4, a game and a half behind the first place Pittsburgh Steelers. After this the injury plagued Bengals lost three in a row. Cincinnati at 7-7 was 3 1/2 games behind Pittsburgh. However for most of the season, the race was close. The Bengals had two big victories, both at home against playoff bound teams. Pittsburgh of course won the Super Bowl.
Week 4-Washington Redskins
Kenny Anderson completed 12 of 17 passes for 142 yards and a touchdown. Surprisingly, he ran seven times for 70 yards. The Tigers best effort came from defensive back LeMar Parrish. He had two returns for touchdowns-90 yards on a punt reception and 47 yards with a fumble recovery. For the Washington Redskins, Sonny Jurgensen came in a quarterback after three quarters. The Bengals had a big lead at 28 to 3.
Jurgensen completed 12 of 20 passes for 104 yards and two touchdowns. This was quite a feat since the Redskins were in a must pass situation. Jerry Smith caught six passes for 90 yards and a touchdown. Bengals 28 Redskins 17.
Week 9-Pittsburgh Steelers
The Bengals lost three fumbles and yielded four sacks for 34 yards. What should have been a route turned in to a close win. Ken Anderson set an NFL record for completion percentage in one game. He went 20 for 22 for 227 yards. Doug Dressler caught nine passes for 84 yards. Bengals 17 Steelers 10.