Cincinnati looking to end long playoff drought

The Cincinnati Bengals look to end a long postseason drought on Saturday when they take on the Los Vegas Raiders at Paul Brown Stadium. Kickoff is scheduled for 4:30 pm and will air on WLWT, with the Bengals looking for their first postseason victory since 1990. Postseason success has eluded both teams for a generation. The Bengals face significant pressure to end their long playoff win drought. Cincinnati is in the playoffs for the first time since the 2015 season but hasn’t gotten out of the first round since the 1990 season. The Bengals beat the Houston Oilers on Jan. 1. On January 6, 1991, in the wild card round before losing the next week to none other than the Raiders. Cincinnati rocked for 15 more years before returning in 2005. Seven postseason trips since then have gone winless, including five in a row from 2011 to 2015. “That’s all we hear constantly,” said Cincinnati rookie catcher Ja ‘Marr Chase. “We’re not worried about that,” quarterback Joe Burrow insisted. The Bengals (10-7) won the AFC North with Chase, the fifth overall pick in the 2021 draft, and other young stars behind the unflappable Burrow. , the top overall pick in the draft in 2020. Running back Joe Mixon gained more than 1,500 rushing and receiving yards combined. Tee Higgins, a 2020 second-round pick, had 1,091 receiving yards. “(The Raiders) have to be ready for anything,” Burrow said. “We have Joe Mixon and that offensive line that can move people in the running game, and that’s a big part of who we are as an offense and as a team. So the teams have to prepare for that, as well as the weird shows we have outside.” The Raiders’ most recent postseason win was 19 years ago, a conference championship before losing to Tampa Bay in the Super Bowl. Since then, they’ve only managed one playoff appearance, one wild-card game after the 2016 season. The Raiders (10-7) had to overcome several issues off the field this season. Coach Jon Gruden has resigned after racist, anti-gay and misogynistic comments were leaked in emails. Receiver Henry Ruggs III was released after being charged with a DUI that resulted in a death. Defensive back Damon Arnette was released after a video surfaced on social media showing the 2020 first-round pick threatening someone’s life while brandishing various weapons. Under interim head coach Rich Bisaccia, the Raiders have won their last four games, each decided by four points or fewer, and earned a wild card berth with an overtime victory over the Chargers in the season finale. “I think we’ve tried to develop a group of guys who care about each other, know what to do and compete with tireless effort,” Bisaccia said. “Also, once they learn to respect each other’s work, it’s a nice place to come to work and respond to whatever adversity or prosperity that may come that day. It gives you the opportunity to forge your identity through the things you go through.” THE REVENGE Cincinnati went to Las Vegas in Week 11 and beat the Raiders 32-13. The Bengals were coming off two awkward losses and a bye week, and the win helped get them back on track. Mixon’s powerful running and defense made the difference. “They’re super talented, they’re well coached,” Raiders quarterback Derek Carr said. “I felt like we didn’t do our best. But at the same time, I don’t want to take anything away from them because they beat us. And they did a good job stopping us and taking the ball from us and all that stuff.” After struggling for much of the season behind a poor offensive line, Jacobs has delivered two of his best games during this recent stretch. He had a career-high 129 rushing yards in a Week 16 win over Denver and then surpassed it in the playoff-clinching finish against the Chargers with 132 yards. Team records of the season. Chase had the most yards (1,455) for a Cincinnati receiver. Burrow broke records for passing yards (4,611), touchdowns (34), passer rating (108.3), and games with 300+ passing yards (six). Rookie Evan McPherson’s 58-yard field goal on December 19 at Denver was a new team record. UNDER PRESSURE The Raiders’ strength all season has been a defensive line that has generated constant pressure on the quarterback led by running backs Maxx Crosby and Yannick Ngakoue. Crosby led the NFL in rushing with 101, according to Pro Football Focus, and Ngakoue had a team-high 10 sacks. Now they have a chance to play against a Bengals line that allowed the third-most sacks in the league with 51.

The Cincinnati Bengals look to end a long postseason drought on Saturday when they take on the Las Vegas Raiders at Paul Brown Stadium.

Kickoff is scheduled for 4:30 p.m. and will air on WLWT, with the Bengals looking for their first postseason win since 1990.

Postseason success has been elusive for both teams for a generation.

The Bengals face significant pressure to end their long playoff win drought.

Cincinnati is in the playoffs for the first time since the 2015 season, but hasn’t gotten out of the first round since the 1990 season.

The Bengals beat the Houston Oilers on January 6, 1991 in the wild card round before losing the next week to the Raiders.

Cincinnati rocked for 15 more years before returning in 2005. Seven postseason trips since then have failed to deliver a win, including five in a row from 2011 to 2015.

“That’s all we hear constantly,” Cincinnati rookie wide receiver Ja’Marr Chase said.

“We’re not worried about that,” quarterback Joe Burrow insisted.

The Bengals (10-7) won the AFC North with Chase, the fifth overall pick in the 2021 draft, and other young stars behind the unflappable Burrow, the first overall pick in the 2020 draft.

Running back Joe Mixon gained more than 1,500 rushing and receiving yards combined. Tee Higgins, a second-round pick in 2020, had 1,091 receiving yards.

“(The Raiders) have to be ready for anything,” Burrow said. “We have Joe Mixon and that offensive line that can move people in the running game, and that’s a big part of who we are as an offense and as a team. So teams need to prepare for that, as well as the weird shows we have outside.”

The Raiders’ most recent postseason win was 19 years ago, a conference championship before losing to Tampa Bay in the Super Bowl. Since then, they have managed only one playoff appearance, a wild card game after the 2016 season.

The Raiders (10-7) had to overcome several problems off the field this season.

Coach Jon Gruden has resigned after racist, anti-gay and misogynistic comments were leaked in emails. Receiver Henry Ruggs III was released after being charged with a DUI that resulted in a death. Defensive back Damon Arnette was released after a video surfaced on social media showing the 2020 first-round pick threatening someone’s life while brandishing various weapons.

Under interim head coach Rich Bisaccia, the Raiders have won their last four games, each decided by four points or fewer, and clinched a wild-card berth with an overtime win over the Chargers in the season finale.

“I think we’ve tried to develop a group of guys who care about each other, know what to do and compete with tireless effort,” Bisaccia said. “Also, once they learn to respect each other’s work, it’s a nice place to come to work and respond to whatever adversity or prosperity that may come that day. It gives you the opportunity to forge your identity through the things you go through.”

REMATCH

Cincinnati went to Las Vegas in Week 11 and beat the Raiders 32-13. The Bengals were coming off two awkward losses and a bye week, and the win helped get them back on track. Mixon’s defense and powerful run made the difference.

“They’re super talented, well coached,” Raiders quarterback Derek Carr said. “I felt like we didn’t do our best. But at the same time, I don’t want to take anything away from them because they beat us. And they did a good job stopping us and taking the ball from us and all that stuff.”

RUN IN THE LIGHT OF DAY

The Raiders have gotten a big boost during their four-game winning streak late in the season from running back Josh Jacobs. After struggling for much of the season behind a poor offensive line, Jacobs has delivered two of his best games during this recent stretch. He tied a career high with 129 rushing yards in a Week 16 win over Denver and then surpassed it in the playoff finale against the Chargers with 132 yards.

FALL OF RECORDS

In addition to making the playoffs again, the 2021 Bengals broke multiple team records in a single season. Chase had the most yards (1,455) for a Cincinnati receiver. Burrow broke records for passing yards (4,611), touchdowns (34), passer rating (108.3), and games with 300+ passing yards (six). Rookie Evan McPherson’s 58-yard field goal on December 19 at Denver was a new team record.

UNDER PRESSURE

The Raiders’ strength all season has been a defensive line that has put constant pressure on the quarterback led by running backs Maxx Crosby and Yannick Ngakoue. Crosby led the NFL in rushing with 101, according to Pro Football Focus, and Ngakoue had a team-high 10 sacks. Now they have a chance to play against a Bengals line that allowed the third-most sacks in the league with 51.

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