How many times had you heard it? “The Bengals haven’t gone to the playoffs in back-to-back seasons since ’81-’82.” Too many times to count, right?
Well, we can check that one off of the list.
This week, the Bengals gave us the most delicious of early Christmas gifts. They didn’t just beat the Steelers for the first time in the Dalton era. They punched their ticket to the playoffs for a second straight year. And the tore out they hearts of Steeler fans everywhere in the process.
How sweet it is.
In the past two years, the Bengals have been able to slay many of the demons that have plagued them for years:
- Beating the Bills for the first time in 23 years
- Two wins on the West Coast in two years
- Winning over the 12th man in Seattle
- Finally beating a bully in the division
One final hurdle remains: a playoff win.
No matter who the #3 seed ends up being… Houston, Denver or New England (and it could still be any of those three)… getting that win this year won’t be easy. But it isn’t impossible, either. The most likely opponent, the Patriots, are tough but not insurmountable. Even the mighty Tom Brady can be rattled when pressure gets to him, so the defensive line will need to win in the trenches. More importantly, the offense will have to scour the equipment room and find the rhythm that seems to have escaped them lately.