The most productive quarterback-wide receiver combination in Cincinnati Bengals history came to an end yesterday with Chad Ochocinco being traded to the New England Patriots. Although Carson Palmer had previously "retired," Ochocinco's departure draws an official close to this era of Bengal football.
For all the franchise's struggles, an explosive quarterback-wide receiver combination, dating back to Ken Anderson and isaac Curtis. Although Curtis surprisingly never surpassed 1000 yards in any of his great Bengal seasons, he and Anderson were the first of what would be many dynamic duos. Boomer Esiason succeeded Anderson as Bengals quarterback and hooked up with Cris Collinsworth (1985, 1986), Eddie Brown (1988), and Tim McGee (1989) for 3000/1000 yard combinations in a season. Even while losing, Jeff Blake and Carl Pickens provided aerial excellence, joining the club in 1995 and 1996.
Chad Ochocinco set the standard, however. He reached 1000 yards receiving and helped Jon Kitna surpass 3000 yards passing in 2002 and 2003. He an Carson Palmer, however, would breach this barrier a club record four times in 2003, 2005, 2007, and 2009. Their relationship was certainly tumultuous over the years, but the numbers don't lie as to the productivity. Sadly, both will depart Cincinnati without the elusive title they both deeply desired.
Now the torch has been passed to young Andy Dalton and AJ Green. The rookies enter the league together and have the challenge of continuing the litany of great Bengal quarterbacks and receivers. Chad and Carson have set the bar high. If Dalton and Green can come anywhere close to their accomplishments, the Bengals offense will continue to be one of the most explosive in the league.
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