| Paul Brown|
1st AFC Central
| Paul Brown|
| Lost AFC Divisional Playoff|
The 1970 Cincinnati Bengals season was the team's third year in professional football and the first with the National Football League (NFL). The NFL-AFL merger took place before the season and the Bengals, who were placed in the same division as the "old-guard NFL" Cleveland Browns and Pittsburgh Steelers, were not expected to be playoff contenders. Nevertheless, the Bengals made their first NFL campaign a memorable one. After winning their first ever game as a member of the NFL — their inaugural game in the brand new Riverfront Stadium — they would lose six games in a row. After the 1–6 start, however, the Bengals would win the rest of their games, rallying to an 8–6 finish and champions of the newly formed AFC Central division. In their first playoff game, they lost, 17–0, to eventual Super Bowl-champion the Baltimore Colts. Cincinnati quarterback Greg Cook was forced to the Injured Reserve list in training camp with a shoulder injury that would ultimately end his career; Virgil Carter took over as the starter. In just their third season, the 1970 Bengals set a league mark by being the first NFL expansion team to qualify for the playoffs within their first three seasons of existence. The team is one of only 2 teams since the 1970 merger to start the season 1-5 or worse and qualify for the playoffs. The other is the 2015 Kansas City Chiefs.
1970 Cincinnati Bengals season Wikipedia
The Bengals set a league record for most points in a game scored by the special teams, with 31 in a 43–14 victory at Buffalo on Nov 8, 1970. Cornerback Lemar Parrish scored two special teams touchdowns: one on a 95-yard kickoff return, and another on an 83-yard return of a blocked field goal attempt. Parrish is the only Bengals player ever to score two touchdowns in a game on returns and/or recoveries — and he did it three times. Kicker Horst Muhlmann added 15 points on five field goals, and four extra points by Muhlmann completed the special teams onslaught. The offense scored only one touchdown, a one-yard run by running back Jess Phillips. The defense scored a touchdown on an eight-yard fumble return by defensive end Royce Berry.
Note: Tie games were not officially counted in the standings until 1972. Passing: Virgil Carter (278 Att, 143 Comp, 1647 Yds, 51.4 Pct, 9 TD, 9 Int, 66.9 Rating)
Rushing: Jess Phillips (163 Att, 648 Yds, 4.0 Avg, 76 Long, 4 TD)
Receiving: Chip Myers (32 Rec, 542 Yds, 16.9 Avg, 56 Long, 1 TD)
Scoring: Horst Muhlmann, 108 points (25 FG; 33 PAT)
CB Lemar Parrish
TE Bob Trumpy (3rd overall selection, 1st in NFL)