The Bengals got one streak off their back when they clinched back-to-back playoff appearances for the first time since 1981-82. Now, they're looking to end another mark of postseason futility.
Cincinnati hasn't won a playoff game since Jan. 6, 1991. The 22 seasons without a postseason victory is the longest drought in the NFL (the Lions have gone 21 seasons without one).
The last time the Bengals won a playoff game, gas cost $1.19 per gallon, "Home Alone" was the highest grossing movie of that week and "Justify My Love" by Madonna was No. 1 on the Billboard charts. If that doesn't put it in perspective, wide receiver A.J. Green was 2 years old at the time.
The current Bengals players say they don't feel a burden to end this streak.
“It doesn’t have anything to do with us," offensive tackle Andrew Whitworth said. "What we did in 2006, ’07 or ’08 doesn’t have anything to do with this football team. What we did 20 years ago certainly doesn’t. This team is the last two years. Last year, we did what it took to get into the playoffs when a lot of people predicted us to be 0-16. This year, we got back in to the playoffs when a lot of people didn’t think we could. We’re here. The next step is winning a playoff game. Hopefully, we can let that be a chip on our shoulder.”
The Bengals, who play at the Houston Texans on Saturday, got their last playoff win against Houston. Of course, it was the Houston Oilers, not Texans. Boomer Esiason threw two touchdowns, and Ickey Woods ran for another.
Beating the Texans would also mark another couple of firsts for the Bengals. Cincinnati is 0-5 all time on the road in the playoffs, tied with the Saints for the worst road record in NFL postseason history, according to ESPN Stats & Information. Head coach Marvin Lewis is 0-3 all time in the playoffs. The only coach with more postseason losses without a win is Jim Mora, who went 0-6 with the Saints and Colts.
"It’ll mean the world to this locker room. It would mean a lot to this city, since it’s been so long," Bengals cornerback Leon Hall said of a playoff win. "We try to not look at it too big. Obviously, it’s a playoff game. It’s a big game. If we do what we’ve been doing, we should be all right.”