Joe Burrow, Cincinnati Bengals
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Powerful Cincinnati Bengals look tough after win over Raiders

On Saturday, the Cincinnati Bengals finally shook free of their playoff shackles and beat the Raiders.

How much has happened in 31 years?

Tom Brady has played in 10 Super Bowls. The United States has seen a father and his son become President. The internet became popular and cell phones entered every pocket in America.


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This is the span of time which the Cincinnati Bengals waited to win another playoff game. After defeating the Houston Oilers in 1990, Cincinnati endured more than three decades without seeing the Divisional round until Saturday. The current edition dispatched the Las Vegas Raiders in a last-second thrill ride, 26-19.

For the Bengals, it’s the culmination of a three-year journey under head coach Zac Taylor. The franchise has gone from 2-14, to drafting quarterback Joe Burrow at No. 1 overall, to Burrow blowing out his knee last November, to a division title and now a playoff victory.

As for the city of Cincinnati, it’s an official rebirth. It’s also a moment Bengals’ fans won’t soon forget and will forever savior, even if the players are already trying to move on, per ESPN:

“It’s exciting for the city, for the state, but we are not going to dwell on that, we are moving forward. This is expected, this isn’t like the icing on top of the cake, this is the cake. So we are moving on.”


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On Saturday, it was rookie receiver Ja’Marr Chase with another 100-yard game. Albeit while fellow wideouts Tee Higgins and Tyler Boyd were held to a combined 36 yards. Burrow wasn’t spectacular, largely taking what the Raiders’ defense offered, totaling 244 yards on 7.2 yards per attempt with a pair of touchdowns.

And yet, in a way, that mentality is what should scare future opponents the most. Burrow was making his first postseason start and doing so for a fanbase which had to peek between fingers to handle the anxiety. Burrow, though, looked poised and unflappable, refusing to throw into coverage and risk an interception.

The result was a steady performance on a day where the defense largely shut down the Raiders until the fourth quarter. Still, the Bengals defense did its job inside the 20-yard line, allowing five red zone trips to become only 16 points.

Regardless of where the Bengals play next week, they’ll be game, and their opponent will have to fight for a win.

After 31 years, Cincinnati has no intentions of going quietly.

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