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