Final time Bengals received a playoff sport: 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 crew 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 achieve 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 in opposition to the Bengals in 2016 — with two main penalties on the finish — to come back again from a seemingly unattainable deficit to win 18-16.

The Bengals are again within the playoffs after successful the AFC North for the primary time since 2015. They won’t solely host a sport, however they’re going to achieve this because the favorites in opposition to the Raiders, with FanDuel Sportsbook putting the Bengals as 4.5-point favorites. May this be the yr 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 sport, 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 sport?

In 1990, the Bengals completed the common season with a file of 9-7, tying the Houston Oilers and the Steelers for one of the best file within the AFC Central, however taking the sting by way of tiebreaker. The division was the one one within the league and not using a crew 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 sport, quarterback Boomer Esiason, now the CBS Sports activities analyst, accomplished 14-of-20 passes for 150 yards with two touchdowns. He additionally rushed 5 instances for 57 yards and one other rating. Cincinnati took a commanding 20-0 lead at halftime, and by no means let up within the sport.

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

‘Curse of Bo Jackson’

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

However that sport will not be remembered for the end result, however relatively what occurred through the sport. Star working again and two-sport athlete Bo Jackson took a handoff through the third quarter of the sport and raced down the sidelines. It appeared he was headed towards the tip zone earlier than linebacker Kevin Walker was capable of sort out him from behind, preserving the rating shut.

On the time, the sort out didn’t appear vital or significantly damaging, however it was revealed that he had dislocated and fractured his hip. Based on an article from The Los Angeles Instances on the time, a health care provider stated that Jackson had avascular necrosis, which meant that blood was reduce off from the broken bone. Jackson by no means performed within the NFL once more, and he performed in just a few 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 skill or energy he had previous to the damage.

The damage to Jackson, an icon within the sports activities world, led to the assumption that Cincinnati was hit by the “Curse of Bo Jackson,” inflicted for ending his profession. The Bengals went from a crew that reached the Tremendous Bowl in 1988 to the worst crew within the NFL between 1991 and 2002. It wasn’t till Marvin Lewis arrived because the crew’s head coach that Cincinnati was capable of return to the playoffs, however even then, the fast exits from the postseason each yr has left 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 right this moment is kind of totally different from the world when Cincinnati celebrated a playoff win.

For starters, textual content messages at the moment are a factor.

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

On the planet of expertise, Microsoft first launched its workplace suite in 1990. The preferred cellphone was a Motorola MicroTac Traditional, in keeping with My Broadband. The world was solely a yr away from the PenLite, Apple’s first try at making a pill laptop.

“The Silence of the Lambs” received the Academy Award for Finest Image. Based on The TV Rankings Information, “Cheers” was the No. 1 tv program for the 1990-91 season. “(Every little thing I Do) I Do It for You” by Bryan Adams topped the Billboard Scorching 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 faculty when the Bengals received, and when Cincinnati subsequent took the sector, he could be making ready to enter into highschool. The one lively Bengals who have been alive have been Michael Thomas (lower than a yr outdated), Kevin Huber (5 years outdated) and Chris Harris (a yr 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 lively streak amongst any NFL crew. The Lions are the opposite crew at 30 years. The final time Detroit received a sport was when it reached the NFC convention championship sport in 1992 following the tip of the 1991 season, and misplaced to Washington. If Cincinnati loses on Saturday, it can surpass Detroit as soon as once more for the longest drought.

Each different crew within the NFL has received at the least one playoff sport within the 2000s.

There have solely been three groups which have ever gone an extended time period than the Bengals has with out successful a playoff sport.

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. Nonetheless, previous to that, the final time the Cardinals had received a playoff sport got here in 1947, when the Chicago Cardinals beat the Eagles to win the NFL championship. That is 51 years of not successful a sport 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 sport till that 1991 season that ended within the NFC convention championship sport for a 34-year drought. Throughout that span, they solely reached the postseason 3 times.

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 sport 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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