SUPER BOWL LVI
Bengals at the Super Bowl: last appearances, rings and NFL finals lost and won
Bengals QB Joe Burrow has put the long-suffering franchise on his young shoulders and quickly turned the team into a force that are suddenly one win away from their first Super Bowl title.
The Cincinnati Bengals were an NFL doormat for decades until quarterback Joe Burrow put the long-suffering franchise on his young shoulders and quickly turned the team into a force that are suddenly one win away from their first Super Bowl title.
Under the direction of Burrow, who was drafted first overall in 2020 by a Bengals team coming off a 2-14 season, Cincinnati have become just the third team to reach the Super Bowl two years after finishing with the NFL's worst record.
Should the Bengals beat the hometown Los Angeles Rams in the Super Bowl on Sunday, it would cap both a speedy and remarkable turnaround for a team that were a 150-1 longshot to win the NFL's championship game this year.
"If you would've told me before the season started that we'd be going to the Super Bowl, I probably would've called you crazy, but then we played a whole season and nothing surprises me now," Burrow said after his team upset the Kansas City Chiefs in overtime to reach the Super Bowl.
Cincinatti, one of NFL franchises yet to taste Super Bowl success
The Bengals, one of 12 NFL teams that have never hoisted a championship Vince Lombardi Trophy, are 0-2 in the Super Bowl having lost to the San Francisco 49ers in 1982 and 1989.
But Burrow, a fearless 25-year-old who has been lauded for his coolness under pressure, has brought a swagger to a Bengals offense that has been missing ever since Boomer Esiason and Ickey Woods led Cincinnati to the Super Bowl in January 1989.
Along with Ja'Marr Chase, Tee Higgins and Tyler Boyd, who make up one of the most feared receiving groups in the NFL, and workhorse running back Joe Mixon in the backfield, the Bengals have proven they can put up points against any opponent.
Now after enduring a 31-year playoff win drought, the Bengals made the most of their postseason ticket this year with wins over Las Vegas, top-seeded Tennessee and defending AFC champion Chiefs.
"We are a special team that is capable of doing special things. We believed from the get-go, whether people believed us or not, we did," said Bengals head coach Zac Taylor.
"We are not surprised. This is where we are meant to be, and I am proud of the guys in the locker room."
Third time lucky?
Sunday's final will mark the Bengals' third appearance in a Super Bowl final. Their maiden bow was back in 1982 when they faced the San Francisco 49ers at Detroit's Pontiac Dome falling 26-21. The 49ers were the Bengals opponents again in 1989 with the Cincinatti team losing out again 20-16 in Miami Florida.
Bengals fans are optimistic that the game at the SoFi Stadium will be a case of third time lucky for the franchise.