The Cincinnati Bengals are one of 12 franchises to never win a Super Bowl -- and one of five franchises to never win an NFL title. Cincinnati's postseason history was comprised of just five playoff wins prior to this postseason, a steak of eight consecutive playoff losses dating back to the 1990 season.
After making it to two Super Bowls in the 1980s, the Bengals haven't had much over the last three decades to brag about. Despite winning the AFC North this year, Joe Burrow, Ja'Marr Chase, and the Bengals locker room had plenty of demons to defeat regarding the team's playoff futility.
If only they knew about it. Head coach Zac Taylor certainly hasn't brought that up.
"We never even really spoke about the playoff drought once," Burrow said on Super Bowl LVI opening night. "We have a young team that doesn't really understand the historical significance of what we're doing. We're just out there playing football and getting better while we're doing it."
This current Bengals team doesn't have a lot of connection with the franchise's history. Burrow has only been in Cincinnati for two years and already has the team in the Super Bowl -- the first No. 1 pick as a quarterback to lead his team to the Super Bowl in his first two years. Chase already has reached the Super Bowl in his rookie year, with the most receiving yards by any rookie (1,455) in the Super Bowl era and the most receiving yards by any rookie in the regular season and postseason combined in NFL history (1,734).
The Bengals have three wins this postseason to get to Super Bowl LVI. Prior to this year, Cincinnati sported just a 5-14 record in the postseason.
"Growing up there really weren't a lot of Bengals fans in high school and middle school," said Burrow, who's from Ohio. "There were a few Bengals fans here and there, but they kind of got laughed at a little bit. As a team we're excited to put a product on the field that the fans are proud of.
"A team that gives them bragging rights. They haven't had that in a while, so I'm excited to give that to them."
Bengals AFC Champions gear now available
The Bengals are going to the Super Bowl for the first time since 1989. Celebrate the historic win by picking up official Bengals AFC Champions gear. Shop shirts, hoodies, hats and more here.
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