Curse in Cincinnati?

BY CHRIS HAAS

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The Cincinnati Bengals haven’t won a playoff game since 1990, the longest streak in the NFL. It appeared the stars had finally aligned for the playoff-win
hungry Bengals last Sunday, when they hosted the sixth-seeded San Diego Chargers at Paul Brown Stadium.

Here’s why Marvin Lewis and company should have won:

-They were undefeated at home. They compiled an impressive list of victories at home beating teams like the Packers, Colts, and Patriots- all playoff-bound
teams.

-They were coming off two of their best games of the season, beating the Vikings and Ravens by an average of 22.5 points in Weeks 16 and 17.

-They had already defeated the Chargers earlier in the season, and under the sunny skies of San Diego no less. They won 17-10 on December 1st,.

Of course, the heavily-favored Bengals did not win nor did they come particularly close to winning on Sunday. The San Diego Chargers won handily, 27-10, in front of what’s become a familiar look of heartbreak in Paul Brown Stadium.

However, this familiar look of heartbreak is not restricted to Paul Brown Stadium in Cincinnati. In a cruel coincidence, The Cincinnati Reds also haven’t won a playoff series since 1990.

This is not to say the Reds and Bengals have been bad. In fact, both teams have had exceptional regular seasons, especially lately.

The breakdown of both teams regular seasons since 2009:

2009:

Bengals: 10-6 AFC North Champions*

Reds: 78-84 4th in NL Central

2010:

Bengals: 4-12 4th in AFC North

Reds: 91-71 NL Central Champions*

2011:

Bengals: 9-7 AFC Wild Card*

Reds: 79-83 3rd in NL Central

2012:

Bengals: 10-6 AFC Wild Card*

Reds: 97-65 NL Central Champions*

2013:

Bengals: 11-5 AFC Champions*

Reds: 90-72 NL Wild Card*

*Indicates the team lost in the first round of playoffs

The Bengals have been to playoffs 4 times in 5 seasons and the Reds have made the trip 3 times. That’s a combined 7 trips to the playoffs in the last 5 years for a combined 0 playoff wins (or advancements in baseball). Given the regular season success Cincinnati has enjoyed the past 5 years, it’s remarkable how little post-season success the city has endured.

Cincinnatians are understandably getting restless.

They say they are due, but so do Cubs fans…

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