Best Bengals Players Of All Time: Top 5 Legendary Cincinnati Athletes, According To Fans

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The Cincinnati Bengals have an extended and storied historical past within the Nationwide Soccer League (NFL). The Bengals have been an growth group in 1968, and so they gained a division championship in 1970, making them the primary group to win a division title in its first three years within the league. The Bengals have been to 3 Tremendous Bowls, however sadly, they haven’t been capable of win the massive sport. Undoubtedly, there have been some all-time nice athletes to return by the group, however only some may be thought-about the most effective Bengals gamers of all time. 

Earlier than we dive into the record of the most effective gamers in Bengals franchise historical past, all of it begins with their followers. In response to a recent study, followers want championship groups comprised of homegrown expertise as an alternative of teams stacked with dear free brokers. Researchers on the College of Kansas surveyed 1,500 Individuals and located that sports activities followers want championship groups comprised of drafted or ‘homegrown’ gamers versus groups with rosters comprised of pricey free-agent gamers. Apparently, sports activities followers respect the laborious work and dedication it takes to construct a championship group from the bottom up. 

Talking of passionate sports activities followers, one other latest study discovered that sports activities followers are keen to finish friendships over sports activities. A survey of two,000 American soccer followers discovered {that a} staggering 52 % of respondents are keen to name it quits with a pal as a result of that individual cheers for a rival soccer group. Moreover, the survey sought to find the place followers want to observe their favorite team play. Simply over 35 % of followers say they like to observe in individual on the stadium whereas 30 % of respondents want to observe their group play from the consolation of their very own residence. Though it’s enjoyable to observe soccer in any capability, nothing beats the thrills of watching your group play in individual. 

So, who deserves to be known as the best in Bengals franchise historical past? StudyFinds did the digging, consulting 10 sports activities and football-related web sites in an effort to deliver you the consensus greatest Bengals gamers of all time. Our record contains the 5 most steadily listed gamers from throughout these websites. Suppose we missed your favourite? Be happy to share your ideas with us within the feedback part under! 

Super Bowl Glow at Paul Brown Stadium in 2022
Tremendous Bowl Glow at Paul Brown Stadium in 2022 (Photograph by Craig Burke on Shutterstock)

The Checklist: Greatest Bengals Gamers, In response to Specialists

1. Anthony Munoz 

Simply topping the record of the most effective gamers in Bengals franchise historical past is none apart from the legendary Anthony Munoz. Munoz is broadly considered one of many best offensive linemen in NFL historical past, and he’s simply the most effective participant to ever put on the orange and black in Cincinnati. 

“Anthony Munoz is the no-brainer for greatest player in Bengals historical past. Munoz’s affect all through the Cincinnati space continues even in the present day by the Munoz Basis. His on-field accomplishments are simply as breathtaking. Munoz began 183 of 185 video games for Cincinnati between 1980 and 1992. His 185 video games performed rank him fifth in Bengals historical past. He anchored an offensive line that made it to the Super Bowl in 1988 and carried out nicely sufficient to make 11 consecutive Professional Bowls from 1981-91,” writes Bleacher Report

Let’s face it, Munoz would possibly simply be the best left sort out in NFL historical past. He performed his school ball for the College of Southern California (USC) the place he additionally performed baseball. Munoz’s private work ethic is famous as the massive man ran three to 4 miles day-after-day to assist hold himself in football form. 

“Munoz began 183 of 185 video games for Cincinnati between 1980 and 1992. His 185 video games performed ranks him fifth in Bengal’s historical past. He anchored an offensive line that made it to the Super Bowl in 1981 and 1988 and carried out nicely sufficient to make 11 consecutive Professional Bowls from 1981-91. This was a simple choose for primary, possibly probably the most dominant offensive sort out in NFL historical past and the one Bengals inductee within the professional soccer corridor of fame,” provides The Grueling Truth

Munoz solely missed three video games as a result of injury over the course of his 13-year NFL career with the Bengals. He was really a outstanding soccer participant. Nonetheless, Munoz’s biggest achievements got here off the soccer area, and in 1991, he was awarded the NFL Man of the 12 months for his work locally. To today, the Munoz Scholarship is awarded to college students round better Cincinnati.   

“Muñoz was inducted into the Professional Soccer Corridor of Fame in 1998 and was named to the Nationwide Soccer League seventy fifth Anniversary Staff. In 1999, he was ranked No. 17 on the Sporting Information’ record of the 100 greatest football players of all time. He was the highest-ranked offensive lineman. In 2010, Muñoz was ranked No. 12 on the NFL Community’s The Prime 100: NFL’s Biggest Gamers record, and once more was the highest-ranked offensive lineman. Munoz will go down in historical past because the Bengals’ greatest participant till another person proves extra worthy of the dignity,” furthers Cincy Jungle

2. Ken Anderson

The following spot on the record of the most effective gamers in Bengals franchise historical past belongs to Ken Anderson. He was the group’s first great quarterback and one of the beloved athletes in Cincinnati sports activities historical past. 

“Ken Anderson was on Cincinnati from 1971-86, till Esiason took over the beginning job from him. Anderson took over the beginning job in 1972, and he discovered lots of success throughout his time with the group. Through the 1981 season, Anderson threw for 3,754 yards and 29 touchdowns. He led the Bengals to their first Super Bowl, and though they misplaced, he nonetheless is the most effective quarterback in franchise historical past. For his efforts in the course of the 1981 season, Anderson was named the group MVP. Anderson completed his profession in Cincinnati with a 91-81 file. He threw for 32,838 yards and 197 touchdowns,” explains Clutch Points

Anderson wasn’t the quickest runner however he might scramble if he needed to, and his passing accuracy was wonderful. These traits helped Anderson thrive in what’s generally known as the West Coast Offense. The West Coast Offense was developed by legendary 49ers coach and one-time Cincinnati quarterbacks coach Invoice Walsh and it depends on brief, correct passing, so Anderson was clearly a pure.  

“Anderson was drafted 67th total within the 1971 NFL Draft by the Bengals and earned the beginning quarterback job in 1972. He would turn into one of the correct short-range passers within the historical past of the league and was extraordinarily efficient at dashing the ball for a quarterback. With Invoice Walsh as his quarterbacks coach, Anderson was one of many first quarterbacks to run the ‘West Coast Offense.’ One of many most interesting performances of his early profession got here in a Monday Evening Soccer sport towards the Buffalo Bills in 1975. In that sport, Anderson handed for a franchise-record 447 yards whereas the Bengals racked up a franchise-record 553 offensive yards on their solution to a 33-24 win. It was the Bengals’ first-ever win in a Monday evening sport,” writes Cincy Jungle

Anderson helped lead the Bengals to their first Tremendous Bowl and their first win on primetime Monday Evening Soccer. It’s secure to say that Anderson performed an enormous position in placing the Bengals on the NFL map. Nonetheless, his impacts on the town of Cincinnati reached far past the football area.   

“The 1975 NFL Man of the 12 months led the league in passing yards twice, passer score 4 instances, and completion share 3 times. Anderson was named to Cincinnati‘s inaugural Ring of Honor Class in 2021. He was the most effective passers within the league throughout his profession. The two-time All-Professional was one of many prime the reason why Cincinnati made their first Super Bowl look in 1981,” furthers Sportskeeda

3. Boomer Esiason

The following identify on the record of the best players in Bengals historical past is none apart from Boomer Esiason. Esiason adopted legendary signal-caller, Ken Anderson, and though they have been massive shoes to fill, Esiason lived as much as expectations in Cincinnati. 

“It may be uncommon for many organizations to have produced two nice quarterbacks – one proper after the opposite – however the Bengals did simply that. As Anderson’s time was coming to an finish, the Bengals drafted Boomer Esiason within the second spherical in 1984. Esiason was the Bengals’ quarterback from 1984 to 1992 after which once more in 1997. Like Anderson, he would win one MVP award and take the group to a Super Bowl solely to lose to the 49ers. Esiason recorded 27,139 passing yards and 187 touchdowns for the Bengals,” explains Fox News

For the file, that was the group’s second Tremendous Bowl loss to the San Francisco 49ers and the good Joe Montana – nothing to be ashamed of, that’s for certain. Regardless of the Tremendous Bowl loss, Esiason performed successful soccer in Cincinnati.  

“The chief of the Bengals’ offense throughout probably the most profitable interval in franchise historical past, Esiason was named the 1988 NFL MVP earlier than main the group to a Tremendous Bowl berth. Esiason completed his profession with the Bengals because the group’ 2nd all-time passing performer yardage-wise (27,149) and nonetheless holds the group’s single-game passing yardage mark with 490 (1990 towards the Rams),” writes Chat Sports

Right now, most soccer followers know Esiason from his weekly look on the CBS NFL pregame present. Nonetheless, within the late ‘80s and early ‘90s, NFL followers knew him as one of many best quarterbacks in soccer. 

“Over the course of his profession in professional football, Esiason recorded 37,920 complete passing yards and 247 touchdowns and maintained a passer score of 81.1. And like each Munoz and Anderson forward of him on the record, Esiason was additionally given the distinguished honor of being named NFL Man of the 12 months for his service to his neighborhood off the field. After his profession within the NFL, Esiason has since discovered a really profitable television broadcasting career,” provides Rookie Road

4. Chad Johnson

The following participant on the record of greatest gamers in Bengals historical past wants no introduction – it’s Chad Johnson, often known as Chad Ochocinco. Johnson may be greatest recognized for his touchdown celebrations, however make no mistake about it, he’s the most effective broad receivers within the historical past of soccer. 

“Each time Chad Johnson stepped onto the sector, you knew it was going to be a show. Folks bear in mind Johnson for his landing dances, however the one purpose folks keep in mind that is as a result of he discovered that a part of the sector so steadily. Johnson performed from 2001-10 with the group, catching 751 passes for 10,783 yards and 66 touchdowns. His greatest season was in 2003, when he caught 90 passes for 1,355 yards and 10 touchdowns. His angle in the direction of the tip of his time with the Bengals turned some followers towards him, however there isn’t any doubt he is likely one of the most talented gamers to ever step onto the sector for Cincinnati,” explains Clutch Points

Johnson might need had some points with administration and coaching that he made public on the finish of his profession, however a minimum of he was passionate. When Johnson was having enjoyable and catching touchdowns, he was one of many best receivers within the league. Johnson holds practically each main receiving file in group historical past.  

“No matter his off-the-field points, Chad was a beast on the gridiron in Cincinnati for years. Chad’s 10,783 receiving yards is probably the most in Bengals historical past by over 3,000 yards. His six Professional Bowl appearances ties for second in franchise historical past, and his 66 touchdowns ranks first… Chad-the-football-player was fairly enjoyable to observe and deserves to be thought-about one of many biggest Bengals of all-time,” writes Bleacher Report

Johnson was lucky sufficient to play the vast majority of his profession with quarterback Carson Palmer. Though Palmer isn’t on this record, he was greater than able to getting Johnson the ball in key conditions. Collectively, Johnson and Palmer shaped one of many prime quarterback-wide receiver duos within the NFL

“Ochocinco’s ‘take a look at me’ persona could divide traditionalists and the brand new breed of NFL followers, however there’s no denying simply how nice he was in Bengals orange and black. Chad’s 10,783 receiving yards outdistances his subsequent closest Bengals competitors by over 3,000 yards, and his 66 receiving touchdowns additionally stay a franchise file,” furthers Chat Sports

5. Ken Riley

Rounding out the record of the most effective Bengals gamers of all time is famous defensive back, Ken Riley. Riley is by far the most effective cowl nook Bengals followers have ever recognized, and he was gifted when it got here to studying quarterbacks. 

“Ken Riley represents the most effective defensive participant the Bengals have ever had. The group chosen the defensive again within the sixth spherical of the 1969 draft. Riley performed for the Bengals for 15 seasons and was an interceptions machine. Fourteen out of his 15 seasons, Riley recorded two or extra interceptions. Twelve of his 15 seasons he had three or extra interceptions. In 1976, he had 9 interceptions and one in every of them was returned for a landing,” writes Fox News

Riley had the most effective rookie seasons in Bengals historical past. He discovered a solution to get to the football whereas it was within the air, and that was obvious from the beginning. 

“When Riley reported to training camp, Cincinnati head coach Paul Brown determined to transform Riley from quarterback, the place he performed at Florida A&M College, to cornerback. Brown’s choice turned out to be an excellent one. Riley made a right away affect for the Bengals as a defensive again, recording 4 interceptions and 66 interception return yards as a rookie. He additionally recovered two fumbles, added one other 334 yards on 14 kickoff returns, and even caught two passes for 15 yards on offense,” explains Cincy Jungle

Riley’s spectacular rookie season was adopted by an extended and storied profession that discovered him taking part in over 200 video games within the orange and black for Cincinnati. His affect on the group continues to be seen within the file books as his 65 profession interceptions are by far probably the most in Bengals historical past. 

“The closest to his 65 is 20 behind. Riley someway by no means made a Professional Bowl throughout his time in Cincinnati. Riley’s 15 seasons spent in Cincinnati rank second all-time, however his 207 video games performed are greater than anybody ever to put on the stripes. Not solely was Riley efficient on the sector, however he was on the sector for some time. Extra importantly, he was simply as efficient on the finish of his career as firstly,” furthers The Grueling Truth

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Sources:

Observe: This text was not paid for nor sponsored. StudyFinds is just not linked to nor partnered with any of the manufacturers talked about and receives no compensation for its suggestions. This put up could include affiliate hyperlinks. As an Amazon Affiliate we earn from qualifying purchases.

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