With two seconds left on the clock; Evan McPherson, Bengal’s kicker prepares to kick one of the most important field goals of his career. The ball is snapped he reaches his foot out and, IT’S GOOD! The Cincinnati Bengals have clinched the AFC North Division and are headed to the playoffs for the first time since 2015.
The Cincinnati Bengals haven’t always had the eye of the tiger. Since their debut in the NFL in 1970, they have only made it to the Super Bowl twice, in 1982 and 1988. In total they have been in the playoffs 15 times out of their 54 seasons, including this season. Besides their run in the early 2010’s, the Bengals have never gotten past the wildcard games. Their past seasons have even granted them the nickname “the bungles” and most Bengal’s fans are used to the disappointment. A lifelong Bengals fan, Mr. Brian Alessandro, seventh grade teacher, said, “When the Bengal’s do bad, I just remember how terrible the Reds are.” It’s normal for Cincinnati natives to be disappointed, but even through all the terrible seasons, the Bengal’s have still had multiple Hall of Fame and Pro Hall of Fame players. Some of those include offensive tackle, Anthony Muñoz and wide receivers Terrell Owens and Charlie Joiner. These guys may not have gotten the Bengals a championship, but they still created a name for the Bengals even in their most devastating seasons. This year will be the first time in 16 years that the Bengal’s have won the AFC North Division.
The 2021-2022 season wasn’t always sunshine and rainbows. The Bengals had their ups and downs, but fought through it to win the AFC North Division and will be continuing their fight all throughout the playoffs. It was a quick turnaround for them, having the worst record two years ago (2-14) and then coming back with one of the best this season, and being divisional champs. The game that decided it all came down to one kick. With two seconds to go Evan McPherson kicked the ball from the 10-yard line right down the middle to clinch the AFC North for the Bengals. It was a jaw dropping ending, but they pulled it off. During the playoffs there will be a wildcard round, divisional round, conference championship, and finally the Super Bowl. Hopes are high for the Bengals, Spencer Clukey, seventh grader said, “I think they will go all the way, maybe not win, but at least get to the Super Bowl.” The Bengals have a long road ahead of them. Having to get through the Raiders first, along with possibly playing the best teams in the league, Titans, Chiefs, or Buccaneers. Most people have predicted that the Bengals would either get to the Super Bowl with the help of Joe Burrow and passing or lose in the second round. In a school wide poll, 34 percent of students said they think the Bengals will win the Super Bowl. Following close behind are the Green Bay Packers with 22 percent.
On Saturday, January 15th the Bengals and Las Vegas, Raiders played at Paul Brown Stadium here in Cincinnati. It was a close game all night, but the Bengals pulled off the win, 26-19. The following Saturday they played the number one seed in the AFC, the Tennessee Titians. This game was wild. Once again coming down to a field goal by Evan McPherson. With four seconds left on the clock, McPherson kicked a 52-yard field goal to win the divisional rounds. The Bengals have advanced to the conference championship and will be playing the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday, January 30th. In the end, on Sunday they play at Arrowhead stadium against one of the toughest team in the NFL. The first half was rough, but in the second half they pulled it together, coming back from a 17 point deficit to win the game in overtime. Now, for the first time in 34 years, the Cincinnati Bengals are going to the Super Bowl, playing against the LA Rams!
The Bengals have had their ups and downs in the past. As Mr. Kevin Nieporte, seventh grade teacher, said “The Bengals are a lifestyle.” They still have a long road ahead of them, but luckily, they have a huge fanbase to support and defend them. The city of Cincinnati is elated for their football team to finally be in the playoffs and have a Super Bowl worthy team. Good Luck Cincy!