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Founded by football deity Paul Brown after he was dismissed by the Cleveland Browns, the Cincinnati Bengals played two season (1968 and 1969) in the AFL before the 1970 merger with the NFL. After a relatively quiet first decade in the NFL, the Bengals went to two Super Bowls in the 1980s but lost both times to the San Francisco 49ers.
In the 90s, the Bengals slipped into a long playoff drought that mercifully ended in 2005. But with Marvin Lewis at the helm and a series of exceptional draft picks by the front office headed by Mike Brown (son of the legendary Paul Brown), the Bengals have made the playoffs in three of the last four years and enter 2013 with high expectations despite playing in a division with the their longtime rival Browns, perennial powerhouse Pittsburgh Steelers and the reigning Super Bowl Champion Baltimore Ravens.
Loaded with Talent in 2013
In a 2011 Draft that goes down in history as a HUGE WIN for the organization, the Bengals selected franchise cornerstones AJ Green (#3 overall) and Andy Dalton early in the 2nd round. Both players have more than justified their high draft selections in becoming one of the best young QB-WR combinations in the league. And as fan favorite Mohamed Sanu emerges as a counter-point to Green on the outside, Andy Dalton will keep opposing defenses guessing all season long.
With veteran linebacker James Harrison coming over from the Steelers to lead a young and vastly improved defense, the Bengals are a contender once again in 2013.
Did You Know…
The Bengals were the first team to use a no-huddle offense of the amount of time remaining, forcing the league to make some rule changes to protect defenses and injured players.
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