NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The Cincinnati Bengals just keep ending postseason droughts, and their latest victory has them in their first AFC championship game in 33 years.
Rookie Evan McPherson kicked a 52-yard field goal as time expired, lifting the fourth-seeded Bengals past the top-seeded Tennessee Titans 19-16 on Saturday to end the NFL’s longest active road playoff skid.
A week after snapping a 31-year playoff victory drought, the Bengals (12-7) finally won their first road game in the postseason after losing their first seven. They reached the 1981 and 1988 Super Bowls by winning on their home field.
The Bengals intercepted Ryan Tannehill three times, setting up two of McPherson’s four field goals. Luke Wilson picked off Tannehill with 20 seconds left at the Cincinnati 47. Joe Burrow hit Pro Bowl rookie receiver Ja’Marr Chase with a 19-yard pass, then the Bengals ran twice to set up McPherson for the win.
Burrow shook off being sacked nine times as Tennessee tied an NFL mark held by four other teams for the most in the postseason. The Bengals’ second-year quarterback threw for 348 yards, and Chase finished with 109 yards receiving.
The Titans (12-6) wrapped up their 25th season in Tennessee with their third straight loss on their own field coming in as the AFC’s No. 1 seed. They haven’t won at home since January 2003 in the postseason.
Tennessee had Derrick Henry, the 2020 AP NFL Offensive Player of the Year, on the field after he missed nine games with a broken foot. He ran for a touchdown and finished with 66 yards.