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Comparing Bengals' four all-time 4-0 starts

2015 marks only the fourth 4-0 start in franchise history. How did those other three Bengals teams do? How will this Bengals team do?

Mark Zerof-USA TODAY Sports

For the fourth time in franchise history, the Bengals are 4-0. Each of the prior 4-0 Bengals teams made it to the playoffs and one got as far as the Super Bowl. How can we expect the Bengals to continue out the 2015 season?


Started: 6-0

Finished: 11-3

In 1975, the Bengals started the year with a 6-0 record before losing 30-24 to Pittsburgh at home in Week 7. The Bengals ultimately lost twice to the Steelers that season. The Steelers had a very good team that year and ended up winning the Super Bowl that season.

The 1975 season was the last one which featured Paul Brown as the team’s head coach. It was their eighth year in the league, and third playoff appearance. After the 6-0 start, the team played consistently for the rest of the season, finishing out 5-3, and never losing 2 in a row.

By virtue of their 11-3 record, the Bengals had the second best record in the AFC, but also the second best record in the AFC Central. As the one Wild Card team in 1975, the Bengals travelled to Oakland in the first round of the playoffs.

Behind Ken Anderson’s two touchdown passes, the Bengals' offense played well in that playoff game, but couldn’t overcome the struggles on the defensive side of the ball. The defense allowed Ken Stabler to complete 74 percent of his passes for three touchdowns. They also gave up 173 rushing yards, as they lost 31-28.


Started: 6-0

Finished: 12-4

In 1988, the Bengals started 6-0 before losing 27-21 at New England in Week 7. The Patriots took an early lead on a defensive fumble return for a touchdown, and were aided by five Boomer Esiason interceptions (on only 28 attempts).

The Bengals ended the regular season with a 12-4 record, which tied the Buffalo Bills for the best record in the AFC. The Bengals won the regular season head-to-head matchup between the two teams' 35-21 in Cincinnati, and were the AFC’s top seed. The Bengals boasted the NFL’s top scoring offense, with 448 points.

The 12-4 record is the best mark in franchise history (tied with the 1981 12-4 team which also reached the Super Bowl).

In the first round, the Bengals defeated Seattle 21-13. In the second round, the Bengals defeated Buffalo 21-10. The Bengals reached the Super Bowl, but lost a heartbreaking game with a final score of 20-16 to the San Francisco 49ers.


Started: 4-0

Finished: 11-5

In 2005 the Bengals started the year with a 4-0 record before losing 23-20 at Jacksonville, who were no slouch that year in Week 5 and finishing the year 12-4.

Over their next six games, the Bengals’ record reached 7-3, before cranking out a mid-season four game winning streak. By the middle of December, the 2005 Bengals were up to 11-3. Unfortunately, their Week 15 victory over theDetroit Lions would be their last victory of the season. They lost their final two games giving up 37 points in each.

The Bengals finished with the second best scoring mark in the AFC, behind only top seeded 14-2 Indianapolis Colts.

The Bengals won the AFC North, but their 11-5 record was only the fourth best record in the AFC, making it necessary for them to play in the Wild Card game. The Bengals hosted a Pittsburgh team who they had split the season series with.

The Bengals lost the playoff game 31-17 following the infamous late hit and cheap shot that Kimo von Oelhoffen took on Carson Palmer’s knee. It turned out the be the only pass attempt by Palmer that evening.


All three other Bengals teams (1975, 1988, 2005) to start the season 4-0 made the playoffs. Will that hold true for the 2015 4-0 Cincinnati Bengals?

The Bengals host the Seattle Seahawks in Week 5. If they win that game, they will be 5-0 when they travel to Buffalo for their sixth game of the season. If the Bengals win that game also, that would put them at 6-0 heading into their Week 7 bye. If the Bengals are able to hold a 6-0 record after the bye, they will be travelling to Pittsburgh attempting to break the franchise record by achieving their seventh straight victory to begin the season. But let's not get ahead of ourselves, for now, the Bengals are focussed on the Seahawks and their Sunday afternoon home game.