The Cincinnati Bengals were not supposed to be in this situation, but they knew what national media didn’t.
This team has the drive to be the best in the league, and they’ve proven it to this point. After reigning supreme over the AFC North, the Bengals were faced with a home playoff game against the Las Vegas Raiders.
With the ball in Derek Carr’s hands down seven with the clock ticking, linebacker Germaine Pratt intercepted the Raiders quarterback, securing the Bengals' first playoff victory in 31 years.
After the Bills and Chiefs took care of business, it was down to Tennessee the Bengals went. The mere four-hour drive from Cincinnati helped the Bengals’ faithful have a strong showing at Nissan Stadium.
The Bengals defeated the Titans 19-16 via an Evan McPherson game-winning field goal. That said, they’ll now take on the Kansas City Chiefs after they took down the Bills in an absolutely thrilling overtime battle.
With that in mind, where are many ranking the Bengals among those remaining? Let’s look.
NFL.com — No. 4
The Bengals went 31 years without winning a playoff game. Now they’ve won two in seven days. The 19-16 victory over the top-seeded Titans showed how Cincinnati can find a way even when the opposition dominates the trenches and turns the franchise quarterback into a rag doll. Joe Burrow was sacked nine times on Saturday, a scenario that typically leads to lopsided defeat. But Cincy’s defense was equally game, and when money time arrived after Lou Anarumo’s group intercepted Ryan Tannehill for a third time late in regulation — Burrow found old friend Ja’Marr Chase for the clutch completion that set up another successful and game-winning field goal by Evan McPherson, Cincinnati’s other rookie sensation. The protection of Burrow needs to be far more sound if the Bengals hope to keep up with the Chiefs on Sunday, but can you really count them out? They are the feel-good story of this NFL season.
AP — No. 4
The Bengals’ offensive line was a turnstile all game against the Titans, yet somehow they managed to put up enough points to win the game and America’s hearts.
Looking ahead, there is no doubt Zac Taylor will be looking to find ways to isolate his receivers against the Chiefs cornerbacks once again this coming weekend. We’re hoping that Spags will make the necessary adjustments.