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Sport: Bengals end 31-year playoff drought, beat Raiders with dramatic defensive stand

Fantasy Football Week 18: Non-PPR Cheat Sheet to help you get the most out of your starting lineups

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The streak is over.

The Cincinnati Bengals beat the Las Vegas Raiders 26-19 in Saturday's AFC wild-card matchup, earning their first postseason victory since 1991 and ending an eight-game playoff losing streak that dated back more than three decades.

The game came down to the final moments, partially thanks to a questionable roughing-the-passer call against the Bengals on the Raiders' Derek Carr and keeping alive a game replete with shaky whistles. But Carr took advantage, converting third-and-17 and third-and-10 passes on Las Vegas' last drive to keep the Raiders alive.

It took three stops by the Bengals on goal-to-go from their 9-yard line to seal the win. Carr was picked on fourth down by linebacker Germaine Pratt.

Last time Bengals won a playoff game: History of Cincinnati's postseason drought, 'Curse of Bo Jackson'

  Last time Bengals won a playoff game: History of Cincinnati's postseason drought, 'Curse of Bo Jackson' It has been a long time since the city of Cincinnati has seen one of its teams win a playoff matchup. Saturday could be the first time in more than 30 years that it happens.The Reds in baseball reached the postseason in 2010, 2012, 2013 and 2020 with each season coming to a close swiftly. The Bengals have reached the playoffs in 2005, 2009 and 2011-2015, and each time were eliminated in the wild-card round. The only team that has advanced a single round in the playoffs in the city is FC Cincinnati, back when it was in the USL. Since moving to MLS, it has yet to reach the playoffs.

The Bengals last won a playoff game 32 years and nine days ago, so long that it came against a now-defunct team, the Houston Oilers. Only two active Bengals players — punter Kevin Huber​​ and long snapper Clark Harris — were alive. Bengals head coach Zac Taylor was 7. The playoff losing streak started the following week against the Raiders, who were in Los Angeles back then.

The Bengals beat the Raiders thanks to Germaine Pratt's game-sealing interception, their first playoff win since the 1991 season. (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images) © Provided by Yahoo! Sports The Bengals beat the Raiders thanks to Germaine Pratt's game-sealing interception, their first playoff win since the 1991 season. (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)

Bengals QB Joe Burrow was efficient Saturday, completing 24 of 34 passes for 244 yards and two touchdowns. Rookie kicker Evan McPherson made all four of his field-goal attempts.

Bengals Touchdown Before Halftime Aided by Possible Inadvertent Whistle

  Bengals Touchdown Before Halftime Aided by Possible Inadvertent Whistle Joe Burrow nearly stepped out of bounds as he threw the pass, as it sounded like a whistle was blown before the touchdown was scored. View the original article to see embedded media.Joe Burrow’s second touchdown pass of the game in the Bengals’ wild-card matchup vs. Raiders came with some help from his mobility in the pocket—and perhaps a little from an official’s rogue whistle.As Burrow scrambled toward the sideline with Cincinnati driving late in the second quarter, he released the ball just before stepping out of bounds.

The Raiders’ drought without a postseason victory is now at 19 years and counting. Penalties did them in, even if the officiating also was questionable — for both teams.

Carr was game for the Raiders, completing 29 of 54 passes for 310 yards and a touchdown, rallying them from down 10 points in the fourth quarter. He also forced the game-sealing INT into traffic on the game's penultimate play.


Video: Derek Carr reflects on Raiders' loss, 2021 season (NFL)

The Bengals took control early with a 13-3 lead, riling up the largest crowd in Paul Brown Stadium history. It could have been more.

After the Bengals took a 7-3 lead following a brilliant opening drive — and a terrific tribute to the “Ickey Shuffle” by C.J. Uzomah on the touchdown — Trey Hendrickson sacked Carr, forcing a fumble and giving Cincinnati the ball on the Las Vegas 15-yard line on the recovery and return by Larry Ogunjobi.

Raiders, Derek Carr ridiculed for first-and-goal spike in wild-card playoff loss to Bengals

  Raiders, Derek Carr ridiculed for first-and-goal spike in wild-card playoff loss to Bengals Derek Carr was putting together a heck of a drive — until the spike.Carr and the Raiders were driving to tie or win the game against the Bengals late in the fourth quarter Saturday, and they were in striking distance: Following clutch throws to Darren Waller and Zay Jones, Carr and the Raiders were set up with a first-and-goal from the Bengals' 9-yard line.

But the Bengals stalled and could muster only a field goal, and they tacked on another field goal on their next possession after the Raiders went three-and-out. Cincinnati drove to the Vegas 4, but a Burrow sack on third down forced the Bengals to take a 13-3 lead.

The Raiders bounced back with a 35-yard kickoff by Tyron Johnson and a 35-yard Josh Jacobs run. The promising possession ended in a Daniel Carlson field goal, cutting the Bengals’ lead to 13-6.

The Bengals faced a fourth-and-1 at the Raiders’ 31 and had no interest in a field goal this time. Instead, they ran a toss sweep to Ja’Marr Chase, who rumbled 15 yards for a first down. Three plays later, Burrow was drifting out of bounds as he hit Tyler Boyd for a 10-yard score to give the Bengals a 20-6 lead.

The Raiders had reason to complain on the Bengals’ TD. Believing Burrow was out of bounds, a referee loudly blew his whistle, perhaps causing Raiders defenders to stop playing. The NFL’s rulebook indicates that the play should have been blown dead, but Jerome Boger’s crew allowed the touchdown to stand.

3 Bengals players who carried team to wild card win over Raiders

  3 Bengals players who carried team to wild card win over Raiders The Cincinnati Bengals achieved their first playoff win in three decades thanks to standout performances from players who made sure losing wasn't an option. The Bengals came into Saturday's Wild Card matchup with the Raiders hoping to break their playoff curse. They answered the callThe Bengals came into Saturday's Wild Card matchup with the Raiders hoping to break their playoff curse.

With less than two minutes remaining in the first half, the Raiders kept the game within reach. Carr converted three third-down throws and drove the Raiders 80 yards on 11 plays in 1 minute, 38 seconds, hitting Zay Jones on a 14-yard TD to cut the Bengals’ lead to 20-13 before halftime.

The Bengals tacked on another McPherson field goal on their opening drive of the second half, increasing the lead to 23-13. The Raiders looked to be back in business on their next drive, with Hunter Renfrow's 22-yard catch on third-and-4 putting them at the Cincinnati 35. But the play was reviewed and ruled that safety Jessie Bates III punched the ball out before Renfrow had full possession.

After the Bengals went three-and-out, the Raiders drove to the Cincinnati 9. But a Raiders penalty wiped out a run to the 1-yard line, and they had to settle for Carlson's third field goal, making it 23-16, Bengals. At this point in the game, all five Vegas starting offensive linemen had been flagged for at least one penalty.

The Bengals milked more than seven minutes off the clock and made it a two-score game with just under seven minutes remaining, with McPherson's 28-yard field goal upping the lead to 26-16.

The Raiders gave themselves a chance, converting a fourth-and-5 at midfield and tacking on another Carlson field goal to make it a one-score game.With only one timeout remaining, the Raiders stopped the Bengals and got the ball back with less than two minutes left.

That's when Cincinnati's defense clamped down and earned a victory few Bengals fans will forget.

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Check out odds, plays and more for the Kansas City Chiefs vs. Cincinnati Bengals AFC Championship matchup on January 30, 2022. © Provided by Sports Illustrated Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow (9) throws under pressure in the first quarter during a Week 16 NFL game against the Baltimore Ravens, Sunday, Dec. 26, 2021, at Paul Brown Stadium in Cincinnati. Baltimore Ravens At Cincinnati Bengals Dec 26 The AFC Championship round will see the Kansas City Chiefs play the Cincinnati Bengals.For more great betting and fantasy insight, join the SI Winners Club Newsletter.Odds for Chiefs vs.

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