CINCINNATI (AP) – Another playoff meltdown for the Bengals. And in many ways, this one was the worst of all.
Cincinnati had a pair of personal fouls that moved Pittsburgh into position for Chris Boswell’s 35-yard field goal with 14 seconds to play on Saturday night and an 18-16 victory that extended the Bengals’ horrid playoff history.
They rallied from a 15-0 deficit in the fourth quarter behind AJ McCarron, who threw a 25-yard touchdown pass to A.J. Green for a 16-15 lead with only 1:50 to go.
After Vontaze Burfict picked off a pass that seemed to seal it, Jeremy Hill fumbled to give Pittsburgh (11-6) another chance. Ben Roethlisberger returned from a shoulder injury to lead the winning drive, with personal fouls on Burfict and Adam “Pacman” Jones moving them within range.
Cincinnati’s 25-year playoff drought is the sixth-longest in NFL history.
Coach Marvin Lewis fell to 0-7 in the playoffs, moving ahead of Jim Mora for the NFL record of futility. And the Bengals (12-5) now have lost an opening-round game for five consecutive seasons – no other team has done it more than three times in a row.