The Bengals today play in the playoffs for the third time since 2009. The Browns are now looking for their third head coach since then.
But these Bengals haven’t won a playoff game yet. Marvin Lewis hasn’t won one yet, going 0-3 in the postseason. It’s been more than 20 years since the franchise won one.
It’s time. These Bengals have long been on a quest for real respect, and their chance to get it is here.
The Bengals come in with momentum, having won seven of eight. But they’re very much under the radar, and if they can’t win in Houston today it will go down as a season of unfulfilled goals, even as they made the playoffs in back-to-back years for the first time in 30 years.
The Bengals didn’t win the division. They still haven’t beaten the Ravens in a game that matters. Last year’s trip to Houston for this wild card round of the playoffs didn’t end well. The Bengals have a young, talented core and many reasons to think the future is bright.
Twelve teams made the playoffs, and the Bengals feel like the other 11 are getting talked about. There’s one way to remedy that, and that’s to erase last year and other years and book another flight to Denver next weekend.
The future is now today in Houston for Lewis, Andy Dalton, A.J. Green, Geno Atkins and a whole bunch of other guys. We’ll see soon if the Bengals are up to the challenge.