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Bengals’ All-Time Passing Leaders (Yardage)

Updated on September 23, 2008

Ken Anderson

Boomer Esiason

Carson Palmer


The Cincinnati Bengals have been a struggling or average franchise for the most part, but did have some great teams in the ‘80's when Boomer Esiason and Ken Anderson were the QBs. Here is a list of the all-time Top 10 in passing yards for the Bengals, and you'll notice a significant drop-off about halfway through.

Ken Anderson (32,838)-Ken Anderson was the Bengals QB longer than anyone else, from 1971 to 1986, and still leads the franchise all-time with 32,838 passing yards. Anderson led the Bengals to the Super Bowl after the 1981 season, and that was also his best NFL season. That year, Anderson passed for career highs in passing yards (3754), and touchdown passes (29) with just 10 interceptions.

Boomer Esiason (27,149)-Boomer Esiason was with the Bengals from 1984 to 1992 and again in 1997. The lefty ranks second in passing yards for the team with 27,149. Boomer had a career high 3959 passing yards in 1986, but his best overall season was in 1988, the year he took the Bengals to the Super Bowl by throwing for 3572 yards with 28 TDs and just 14 interceptions.

Carson Palmer (15,413)-Carson Palmer broke into the NFL in 2004 after a very successful college run at USC. Palmer already ranks third in Bengals' history with 15,413 passing yards but has yet to lead them to the promised land. Palmer passed for a career best 4131 yards in 2007, but his best overall season was 2005. That year, he completed 67.8 % of his passes with 3836 passing yards, 32 touchdowns and 12 interceptions.

Jeff Blake (15,134)-Journeyman Jeff Blake had some great years in Cincinnati, where he played from 1994 to 1999. He ranks fourth in Bengals' history with 15,134 passing yards and his best season was his Pro Bowl year of 1995. That year, Blake passed for career highs in yards (3822) and TDs (28) with 17 interceptions.

Jon Kitna (10,707)-Before Jon Kitna played for the Lions, he put up big numbers for a subpar Bengals team from 2001 to 2005. Kitna ranks fifth in team history with 10,707 passing yards, and his best season in Cincinnati was 2003, when he passed for 3591 yards with 26 TDs (career high) and 15 interceptions.

David Klingler (3880)-Have you figured out yet where the drop off is? Klingler played for the Bengals from 1992 to 1995. During that time, he started 24 games and led his team to a 4-20 record. Yikes. Klingler still ranks sixth in Bengals' history with 3880 passing yards, and his best season was 1993, with 1935 passing yards and six touchdowns (with nine interceptions).

Virgil Carter (3850)-Virgil Carter played for Cincinnati from 1970 to 1972 and ranks seventh in team history with 3850 passing yards. Carter threw for a career high 1647 yards in 1970, but his best overall season was probably 1971, with 1624 yards, 10 TDs and 7 interceptions.

Turk Schonert (2756)-Turk Schonert was mostly a backup in Cincinnati, from 1981-85 and again from 1987-89. He still ranks eighth in Bengals history, though, with 2756 passing yards. Schonert never put up big TD numbers, but he did throw for a career high 1159 yards in 1983 with two TDs and five picks.

Neil O'Donnell (2216)-Journeyman Neil O'Donnell only played one season for the Bengals, 1998, but in that one season passed for 2216 yards, which ranks ninth in team history. That season, O'Donnell was just 2-9 as a starter, but passed for the 2216 yards with 15 touchdowns and just 4 interceptions.

Akili Smith (2212)-Akili Smith was kind of a pro bust after a great college career at Oregon. Smith played for the Bengals from 1999 to 2002 and still ranks tenth in team history with 2212 passing yards. Smith's best season was in 2000. That year, despite six interceptions, Smith threw for 1253 yards and 3 TD passes.


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    • All-Things-Red profile image

      All-Things-Red 7 years ago

      Hopefully Carson will be top of the list in a few years, a ring might be nice too.

    • allshookup profile image

      allshookup 9 years ago from The South, United States

      Love this hub. Boomer was my favorite Bengal QB and I liked his backup too, Baby Boomer lol. They looked a lot alike to me. Except one was left-handed and one was right-handed. I hated when they played the 9ers because then no matter who lost, it hurt. I love Joe Montana too.