Final time Bengals received a playoff recreation: Historical past of Cincinnati’s postseason drought, ‘Curse of Bo Jackson’


It has been a very long time for the reason that metropolis of Cincinnati has seen their two largest sports activities’ groups advance a spherical within the playoffs.

The Reds in baseball reached the postseason in 2010, 2012, 2013 and 2020 with every season coming to a detailed swiftly. The Bengals have reached the playoffs in 2005, 2009 and 2011-2015, and every time have been eradicated within the wild-card spherical. The one workforce that has superior a single spherical within the playoffs within the metropolis is FC Cincinnati, again when it was within the USL. Since transferring to MLS, it has but to succeed in the playoffs.

Cincinnati followers have grown accustomed to playoff disappointment, from Carson Palmer’s damage in 2005 to Roy Halladay’s no-hitter in 2010, dropping three straight at house to the Giants in 2012 and Ben Roethlisberger’s game-winning drive towards the Bengals in 2016 — with two main penalties on the finish — to return again from a seemingly not possible deficit to win 18-16.

The Bengals are again within the playoffs after profitable the AFC North for the primary time since 2015. They won’t solely host a recreation, however they’re going to achieve this because the favorites towards the Raiders, with FanDuel Sportsbook putting the Bengals as 4.5-point favorites. May this be the 12 months Cincinnati strikes on?

Sporting Information takes a glance again on the postseason drought the Bengals have endured, what the world was like when it final received a playoff recreation, and the place their dropping run ranks in NFL historical past.

Bengals’ playoff historical past

When is the final time the Bengals received a playoff recreation?

In 1990, the Bengals completed the common season with a document of 9-7, tying the Houston Oilers and the Steelers for the most effective document within the AFC Central, however taking the sting through tiebreaker. The division was the one one within the league and not using a workforce that had double-digit wins.

The Bengals confronted the Oilers on Jan. 6, 1991, and beat the division foes 41-14 to advance to the AFC divisional spherical. In that recreation, quarterback Boomer Esiason, now the CBS Sports activities analyst, accomplished 14-of-20 passes for 150 yards with two touchdowns. He additionally rushed 5 occasions for 57 yards and one other rating. Cincinnati took a commanding 20-0 lead at halftime, and by no means let up within the recreation.

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The earlier 12 months, the Reds received the World Collection, marking the final time the town has received a championship. Since 1991, the Reds received the NLDS in 1995, the final time Cincinnati’s MLB workforce has superior a spherical within the playoffs.

‘Curse of Bo Jackson’

Cincinnati received solely that first matchup towards the Oilers earlier than it confronted the Los Angeles Raiders within the AFC divisional spherical. Los Angeles received that recreation 20-10 on the energy of two passing touchdowns by quarterback Jay Schroeder.

However that recreation just isn’t remembered for the end result, however relatively what occurred throughout the recreation. Star working again and two-sport athlete Bo Jackson took a handoff throughout the third quarter of the sport and raced down the sidelines. It appeared he was headed towards the top zone earlier than linebacker Kevin Walker was capable of deal with him from behind, maintaining the rating shut.

On the time, the deal with didn’t appear vital or significantly damaging, however it was revealed that he had dislocated and fractured his hip. In keeping with an article from The Los Angeles Occasions on the time, a physician mentioned that Jackson had avascular necrosis, which meant that blood was minimize off from the broken bone. Jackson by no means performed within the NFL once more, and he performed in only some extra MLB video games throughout the remainder of his profession, spending elements of two seasons with the White Sox and one with the Angels, however he by no means had the stolen base capacity or energy he had previous to the damage.

The damage to Jackson, an icon within the sports activities world, led to the idea that Cincinnati was hit by the “Curse of Bo Jackson,” inflicted for ending his profession. The Bengals went from a workforce that reached the Tremendous Bowl in 1988 to the worst workforce within the NFL between 1991 and 2002. It wasn’t till Marvin Lewis arrived because the workforce’s head coach that Cincinnati was capable of return to the playoffs, however even then, the short exits from the postseason each 12 months has left the town feeling as if a curse lingers over them.

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State of the world in 1991

As has been identified, the world in the present day is sort of completely different from the world when Cincinnati celebrated a playoff win.

For starters, textual content messages are actually a factor.

However there’s rather a lot else that has modified. Gasoline was going for about $1.14 per gallon, in accordance with the Workplace of Vitality Effectivity and Renewable Vitality. Three days after the sport, the Persian Gulf Warfare would start with the beginning of the U.S.’s aerial marketing campaign. President George H. W. Bush’s approval ranking was above 64 p.c, in accordance with Gallup, and ultimately rose as much as practically 90 p.c that 12 months, the best job approval ever by a president to that time. He would lose his bid for re-election a 12 months later.

On this planet of expertise, Microsoft first launched its workplace suite in 1990. The most well-liked cellphone was a Motorola MicroTac Traditional, in accordance with My Broadband. The world was solely a 12 months away from the PenLite, Apple’s first try at making a pill pc.

“The Silence of the Lambs” received the Academy Award for Greatest Image. In keeping with The TV Rankings Information, “Cheers” was the No. 1 tv program for the 1990-91 season. “(All the pieces I Do) I Do It for You” by Bryan Adams topped the Billboard Sizzling 100 singles of 1991.

The NFL had solely three divisions in every convention, and simply 28 groups. Houston was nonetheless the Oilers, the Raiders have been in Los Angeles, the Chargers have been in San Diego and the Cardinals have been in Phoenix. At that time, the Patriots had by no means received a Tremendous Bowl. They’ve since tied the Steelers for probably the most received in league historical past.

Tom Brady would have been ending center college when the Bengals received, and when Cincinnati subsequent took the sphere, he can be getting ready to enter into highschool. The one energetic Bengals who have been alive have been Michael Thomas (lower than a 12 months outdated), Kevin Huber (5 years outdated) and Chris Harris (a 12 months and a half). Joe Burrow was born practically six years later.

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NFL’s longest playoff win drought

Cincinnati’s 30 years and not using a win within the playoffs is tied for the longest energetic streak amongst any NFL workforce. The Lions are the opposite workforce at 30 years. The final time Detroit received a recreation was when it reached the NFC convention championship recreation in 1992 following the top of the 1991 season, and misplaced to Washington. If Cincinnati loses on Saturday, it would surpass Detroit as soon as once more for the longest drought.

Each different workforce within the NFL has received at the very least one playoff recreation within the 2000s.

There have solely been three groups which have ever gone an extended time frame than the Bengals has with out profitable a playoff recreation.

The Cardinals maintain the longest streak, and it is not significantly shut. Arizona reached the playoffs in 1998 and made it to the divisional spherical. Nevertheless, previous to that, the final time the Cardinals had received a playoff recreation got here in 1947, when the Chicago Cardinals beat the Eagles to win the NFL championship. That is 51 years of not profitable a recreation within the postseason. Throughout that span, the Cardinals went from being the Chicago Cardinals to the St. Louis Cardinals to the Phoenix Cardinals to the Arizona Cardinals.

The Lions received an NFL championship in 1957, and did not win one other playoff recreation till that 1991 season that ended within the NFC convention championship recreation for a 34-year drought. Throughout that span, they solely reached the postseason thrice.

The one different longer dropping streak in NFL historical past belongs to the Saints. New Orleans first started is existence as a franchise in 1967 and didn’t win a playoff recreation till 2000, when it lastly beat the Rams within the wild-card spherical. It misplaced to the Vikings within the divisional spherical.



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