The Cincinnati Bengals’ playoff drought is finally over. Their next opponent has a lengthy postseason drought of their own.
Despite this success, Tennessee has not won a home playoff game since the 2003 postseason. That’s the fifth-longest streak in the NFL currently, as only the Cleveland Browns, Washington Football Team, Miami Dolphins and Detroit Lions have longer droughts.
Led by the late Steve McNair, the 2002 Titans were able to take down the Pittsburgh Steelers in overtime in the Wild Card round of the 2003 postseason. It would be the last time Tennessee won a home playoff game, as it’s been two decades since that last victory. Perhaps this’s why the Titans are making it harder for Bengals fans to purchase tickets to Saturday’s Divisional Round clash in the Music City.
Obviously, the biggest goal is to win a Super Bowl, and plenty of teams have done that without hosting a playoff game.
However, the Titans don’t have any choice but to break that streak this year if they want to reach the Super Bowl. They’re the AFC’s top seed and will also host the AFC Championship if they beat Cincinnati this week.
Saying this, despite last week’s breakthrough win over the Las Vegas Raiders, Cincinnati still sports one of the more embarrassing postseason droughts of any NFL team.
The Bengals are one of just two current franchises that have never won a road playoff game, as they’re 0-7 all-time in such contests. The Houston Texans are the other, though they’ve only been around since the 2002 season. The Bengals have been around since 1968, so this is a 54-year drought we’re talking about.
Another streak the Bengals will look to end is not making a conference title game since the 1988 season. That 33-year drought is the longest streak in the NFL (the Texans have never made it that far in the playoffs).
At least one painful drought will end this weekend. Here’s to hoping it’s the Bengals getting their first road playoff win ever.