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Cincinnati Bengals reach first AFC title game since 1988

After a 19-16 upset win over the Tennessee Titans, the Cincinnati Bengals are readying for the AFC Championship Game.

A fairytale is developing in the Queen City.

After winning their first postseason game since 1990 last weekend, the Cincinnati Bengals went on the road to face the AFC’s top-seeded Tennessee Titans. Cincinnati proceeded to give up nine sacks, while star quarterback Joe Burrow threw a second-half interception. Burrow, despite throwing for well over 300 yards, didn’t make a single great throw all game.


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And yet, somehow, the Bengals won 19-16 on a last-second, 52-yard field goal by rookie kicker Evan McPherson. With the victory, Cincinnati is off to the AFC Championship Game, where it will visit either the Kansas City Chiefs or Buffalo Bills next Sunday.

For many, it’s impossible to see the Bengals having this success. For years, they were the Bungles. Then Cincinnati was a. cute team that reached the playoffs only to be immediately ejected in the Wild Card round.

Suddenly, the Bengals are no longer cuddly cats. They’re fierce, and they’re one game away from the Super Bowl.

“This is the expectation for this team,” Bengals coach Zac Taylor said via ESPN. “This is not too big for these guys. I know we haven’t been here before, but it sure feels like we have. You just see the attitude of this team and the confidence of this team that we’re going to find a way to win.”


Read: Chiefs Aim To Host Fourth Straight AFC Championship


Against Tennessee, Burrow held the ball too long and the offensive line couldn’t block. He was dropped an aforementioned nine times for a total of 68 yards, all while totaling a 28.0 QBR. Still, Cincinnati continued its run behind a defense that intercepted Titans quarterback Ryan Tannehill on three occasions, leading to six points including the final and decisive three.

Going into the AFC title game, Cincinnati will assuredly be a decided underdog regardless of whether the game is in Kansas City or Buffalo. The Bengals are seen by many as a year away, although they’re consistently proving the future could be now.

For fans who waited three decades for any tangible success, this season has been a fairytale. With one more victory, the Bengals will have their fans dreaming of their first Lombardi Trophy, hoping their chosen one can finish the job.

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