The streak is over.
The Cincinnati Bengals beat the Las Vegas Raiders, 26-19, in Saturday’s wild-card matchup, earning their first postseason victory 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 Raiders QB Derek Carr and keeping alive a game replete with shaky whistles. But Carr took advantage, converting 3rd and 17 and 3rd and 10 passes on their last drive to keep the Raiders alive.
It took three stops by the Bengals’ defense on goal to go from their 9-yard line to seal the franchise-changing win. Carr was picked on fourth down by Bengals linebacker Germaine Pratt.
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 seven years old.
Bengals QB Joe Burrow was efficient, completing 24 of 34 passes for 244 yards and two TD passes, including a controversial one. Rookie kicker Evan McPherson made all four of his field-goal attempts.
The Raiders’ drought without a postseason victory is now 20-plus years and counting. Penalties really did them in, even if the officiating also was pretty 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. But he also forced the game-sealing INT into traffic on the game’s penultimate play.
The Bengals took control early with a 13-3 lead, riling up the largest crowd in Paul Brown Stadium history. But it could have been more.
CINCINNATI, OHIO – JANUARY 15: Quarterback Joe Burrow #9 of the Cincinnati Bengals celebrates after throwing a first half touchdown pass against the Las Vegas Raiders during the AFC Wild Card playoff game at Paul…