[ad_1] Two years ago the Cincinnati Bengals found themselves at the bottom of the NFL with a 2-14 record. On Sunday, the franchise secured their fir
Two years ago the Cincinnati Bengals found themselves at the bottom of the NFL with a 2-14 record.
On Sunday, the franchise secured their first Super Bowl appearance since the 1988 season and with it, a renewed hope for success.
Joe Burrow was drafted first overall in the 2020 NFL Draft but injury would prevent him from reaching his full potential. The following season he would take the Bengals to the playoffs for the first time since 2015, defeating the Las Vegas Raiders and Tennessee Titans before topping the Kansas City Chiefs in a thrilling 27-24 overtime victory.
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Cincinnati now faces unfamiliar territory, reaching the Super Bowl for just the third time in franchise history.
SUPER BOWL XXIII (1988-1989)
Led by league MVP Boomer Esiason and under the direction of head coach Sam Wyche, Cincinnati went 12-4 in a season where they led the league in scoring, rushing yards and total yards.
After defeating the Seattle Seahawks 21-13 and the Buffalo Bills 21-10 in the AFC Championship Game, the Bengals were off to the Super Bowl where they would take on the favored San Francisco 49ers led by two-time Super Bowl Champion Joe Montana.
Both teams battled it out for the first half, managing just three points apiece before the Bengals would eventually take the lead 16-13 but Montana, with just a little over a minute left, led an 11-play drive before connecting with wide receiver John Taylor for the game-winning touchdown.
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SUPER BOWL XVI (1981-1982)
The Bengals rebounded from the previous season (6-10) to finish at the top of the AFC with a 12-4 record. Led by quarterback Ken Anderson, also awarded league MVP, Cincinnati reached the Super Bowl for the first time in franchise history where they would take on Montana and the Niners.
San Francisco dominated the field for the first half, going up 20-0 before the Bengals managed to climb back cutting the deficit to 20-14 early in the fourth quarter. The 49ers would secure the lead with two field goals late in the game to win it all, 26-21.
The Bengals would face a similar fate in 1989.
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The Bengals avoided playing the 49ers for the third time after the Los Angeles Rams’ 20-17 in Sunday’s NFC Championship Game.