The Bengals are about to embark on another playoff run after last year’s magical run that led to Cincinnati falling short in Super Bowl LVI to the Los Angeles Rams, 23-20. Cincinnati will have to face off against a familiar foe in the first round, the Baltimore Ravens, a team that they beat twice in the regular season. It is never easy to beat a team three times, but the Bengals are looking to complete unfinished business from losing in the Super Bowl last season.
Does Recent History Support the Bengals Going Back to the Super Bowl?:
According to NBC Sports, out of the first 55 Super Bowl losers, 38 came back to make the playoffs the next season. The 69.1 % playoff rate would refute the notion of a “Super Bowl runner up jinx”. Of the 17 runner-ups that failed to make the playoffs, 11 did not reach even a .500 record–like the 2003 Raiders. All 11 instances have come since 1999, with the earliest being the 1989 Denver Broncos and the most recent being the 2019 San Francisco 49ers.
Here is how the recent Super Bowl runner-ups have done the following season after falling short of claiming the Lombardi Trophy in the last decade:
2013 Denver Broncos: Lost Super Bowl XLVIII, finished 12-4 (Lost Divisional Round vs. Colts)
2014 Seattle Seahawks: Lost Super Bowl XLIX, finished 10-6 (Lost Divisional Round vs. Panthers)
2015 Carolina Panthers: Lost Super Bowl 50, finished 6-10 (Didn’t Make the Playoffs)
2016 Atlanta Falcons: Lost Super Bowl LI, finished 10-6 (Lost Divisional Round vs. Eagles)
2017 New England Patriots: Lost Super Bowl LII, finished 11-5 (Won Super Bowl LIII vs. Rams)
2018 Los Angeles Rams: Lost Super Bowl LIII, finished 9-7) (Didn’t Make the Playoffs)
2019 San Francisco 49ers: Lost Super Bowl LVI, finished 6-10 (Didn’t Make the Playoffs)
2020 Kansas City Chiefs: Lost Super Bowl LV, finished 12-5 (Lost Conference Championship vs. Bengals)
The only team to lose in the Super Bowl the previous year and come back the next season was the 2018 Patriots when they knocked off the Los Angeles Rams 13-3. Cincinnati will look to become the second team in the past decade to win the Super Bowl after being a runner-up in the previous season.
Bengals Hoping Last Season’s Magical Run Will Help Them in a Return to the Super Bowl:
Experience in the playoffs can go a long way and the Bengals were able to reach the Super Bowl for the first time since the 1989 season. We have seen that there hasn’t been many instances where teams win the Super Bowl after following short the last year. Cincinnati has a chance to make history and will be hoping that last year’s magical run will provide a spark for the Bengals to go back to finish what they started last year.
The Bengals were able to win their first playoff game in 31 years when Cincinnati took down the Raiders 26-19 in the Wild Card round. The Bengals were able to continue their magical run to the Super Bowl with wins over the Tennessee Titans and the Kansas City Chiefs on the road. Cincinnati had just one home game on their way to Super Bowl LVI against the Los Angeles Rams.
The Bengals was able to cap off a 12-4 regular season after defeating the Ravens 27-16. With the win, Cincinnati avoided a potential coin flip that would have decided who would be the home team in the Wild Card round this weekend. Cincinnati was able to capture their second consecutive AFC North title. It was the first time that the Bengals won back-to-back division titles since the 1981-82 season.
The Bengals will start their playoff run at Paul Brown Stadium when they take on the Ravens for the third time this season. Joe Burrow spoke on the importance of getting the win against Baltimore in Week 18 that gave the Bengals home field advantage against a familiar foe:
“We needed this one. If we didn’t win this one, I guess technically we would have won the division, but it wouldn’t have felt like it. So it’s good to get this one. We’re going to have to play better next week to get the win, especially me. It’s great to get the win, but on to the next one.”
The road won’t be easy for the Bengals as the will have to take down the Buffalo Bills and Kansas City Chiefs if all of the favorites won their respective matchups. Cincinnati will be looking to finish the deal this season with a Super Bowl win to complete their unfinished business.
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