USA Today

Nearly 40 years to the day after their first Super Bowl showdown, the Bengals and 49ers got one step closer towards a rare Super Bowl rematch by winning their respective divisional round playoff games. The Bengals edged the top-seeded Titans in Nashville, while the 49ers knocked off the top-seeded Packers in frigid Lambeau Field. 

The two franchises are one step closer toward a third Super Bowl matchup. That would tie the Steelers and Cowboys for the most matches in Super Bowl games. The Steelers were victorious in Super Bowls X and XIII, while the Cowboys turned the tables with a 27-17 win over the Steelers in Super Bowl XXX. 

Cincinnati and San Francisco played each other in two competitive Super Bowls during the 1980s. In Super Bowl XVI, the 49ers led 20-0 at halftime (which was at the time the largest halftime lead in Super Bowl history) before needing a goal line stand to hold off the Bengals' furious second half comeback. Joe Montana and the 49ers' offense made just enough plays in the second half to post a 26-21 win in what was the first of four Super Bowl wins during the decade. In defeat, Bengals quarterback and reigning league MVP Ken Anderson threw for 300 yards and two touchdowns as well as a rushing touchdown. 

Seven years later, the Bengals and 49ers met each other in Super Bowl XXIII. With scoring at a premium, the Bengals got a big boost when Stanford Jennings gave Cincinnati a second half lead with a 93-yard kickoff return for a touchdown. Down 16-13 with 3:20 left, Montana led the 49ers on a 92-yard drive that was punctuated by his 10-yard touchdown pass to John Taylor with 34 seconds left. The 49ers received an all-time performances from Montana and receiver Jerry Rice, who caught 11 passes for a still-standing Super Bowl record 215 yards. 

Super Bowl rematches 

TeamsSuper Bowls

Miami, Washington

VII, XVII (Series tied 1-1)

Dallas, Pittsburgh

X, XIII, XXX (PITT leads 2-1)

Cincinnati, San FranciscoXVI, XXIII (SF leads 2-0)

Buffalo, Dallas 

XXVII, XXVIII (DAL leads 2-0)

New England, New York Giants

XLII, XLVI (NYG leads 2-0)

New England, PhiladelphiaXXXIX, LII (Series tied 1-1)
New England, St.Louis/Los Angeles Rams XXXVI, LIII (NE leads 2-0) 

Both teams will have to win another road game on Sunday in order to punch their ticket to Super Bowl LVI. Cincinnati will have to get past a Kansas City team that has represented the AFC in the last two Super Bowls. San Francisco will have to get through a Rams team that just ended the Buccaneers' title defense. The Bengals and 49ers defeated their upcoming opponent in the regular season. Cincinnati posted a 34-31 over Kansas City back in Week 17, while San Francisco swept their season series with Los Angeles.