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.