The Cincinnati Bengals are the proud owners of the NFL’s longest postseason-victory drought, which entered Super Wild Card Weekend. They now have the chance to make history.
A thrilling 26-19 win over the Raiders at home on Saturday snapped the Bengals’ 31 year gap between playoff victories. This gave hope to a franchise that hadn’t advanced beyond the wild card round since 1990. Cincinnati’s last playoff win was Jan. 6, 1991, when it defeated the Houston Oilers 41-14.
Standing tall in a pumped-up locker room, Zac Taylor, the head coach, dedicated a gameball to Mike Brown, franchise owner seven months after the ’91 win. He also shared a special message with Nancy, a city that has supported them through many turbulent seasons.
Taylor said, “The next one’s a new tradition we started today with our first playoff victory.” It is given to Cincinnati and passed out at bars throughout Cincinnati tonight. The fans then celebrate with us. From now on, the city is part of every playoff game.
Later, the team announced that it would send three game balls out to local watering holes: Pontiac and Walt’s Hitching Post. Lookout Tavern.
Saturday night’s triumph also provided the Zac Taylor-Joe Burrow era with a new benchmark two weeks after beating the Chiefs. Burrow, who was raised in Ohio and played one season at Ohio State, before moving to LSU, expressed his joy in the calm manner that is synonymous with his M.O.
He said, “It’s thrilling.” “It’s exciting both for the state and the city, but that’s not what we’re going to dwell on. We’re moving ahead, and whoever we play next, we’ll all be ready to go out to execute the plan.
Burrow showed less enthusiasm than the crowd inside Paul Brown Stadium and responded with a little more energy when asked about his first playoff win. The business-assual QB was not shy about reminding everyone that the team’s goal is to give Cincy something more to cheer about in weeks to come.
He said, “It’s thrilling, but this was to be expected.” This is not the icing on the cake, or any other decoration. This was the cake. We are moving on.