Cincinnati and Kansas City entered the weekend hopeful that each would get their first postseason victory since the early ’90s. But both reverted to their true nature when it mattered most, crushing whatever lingering will to live that their fans might be clinging to.
You could argue that the Chiefs had a more devastating loss by allowing the second-biggest comeback in postseason history. But you could say the long-term prospects for the Chiefs will be better. It’s only Andy Reid’s first year with the team. They were on the road and had a ton of injuries. There were mitigating circumstances.
Bengals fans just have to know this is as good as it gets. In Andy Dalton’s first two playoff losses, you could say he was still developing as a young passer. But this was a critical year for him and his best statistically. And now the best he can say about its conclusion is that he finally got his first playoff touchdown. Marvin Lewis has been coach for 11 years. What hope for further improvement is there?
Giovani Bernard’s first half fumble was certainly costly, but hardly a killer. Instead of building a touchdown lead, the Bengals only went into halftime up three. In the second half, Dalton turned it over three times, with a ugly fumble on a scramble and two extremely ugly interceptions.
When Dalton finally made a good throw late in the game, a bomb down the sideline was dropped by A.J. Green. That would have likely pulled Cincinnati within three points. Instead, their desperation drive ended on a turnover on downs.
Rare good news for the Lions, though: since the Bengals didn’t win, Detroit doesn’t have to take over the longest playoff drought. So… there’s that.