The Cincinnati Bengals beat the Las Vegas Raiders 26-19 in the American Football Conference (AFC) wild-card game at Paul Brown Stadium on Saturday to win their first postseason game in 31 years.
The last time the Bengals won a postseason game, they couldn't even receive a text message of congratulations because the first text wasn't sent until 1992.
"Some of them might not understand the significance of what happened today," Bengals head coach Zac Taylor said. "The city can finally enjoy ... this team and take the pressure off of the last 31 years. Today was significant for a lot of people."
Bengals quarterback (QB) Joe Burrow completed 24 of 34 passes for 244 yards and two touchdowns (TDs), one connecting with C.J. Uzomah and the other with Tyler Boyd. Ja'Marr Chase didn't score a TD, but recorded a team-leading 116 receiving yards on nine catches.
Evan McPherson also made key contributions to the Bengals offense by making all four field goals and both extra point attempts. He's the first rookie in NFL history to have a perfect postseason debut.
"It's exciting for the city, for the state, but we are not going to dwell on that, we are moving forward," Burrow said. "This is expected, this isn't like the icing on top of the cake, this is the cake. So we are moving on."
The Raiders had the chance to at least postpone Cincinnati's celebration but QB Derek Carr's 4th down & goal pass in the last 15 seconds was intercepted by Germaine Pratt, which sealed the game.
Carr completed 29 of 54 passes for 310 yards and one TD. The Raiders were able to remain hopeful until the dying seconds of the game because Daniel Carlson, leading scorer of the league, made all of his field goal attempts.
"We just ran out of time today," Raiders interim coach Rich Bisaccia said. "We did some uncharacteristic things with some penalties and gave up some drives and didn't capitalize when we had it in the red zone at times. So it just didn't go our way today."
Josh Allen teaches Mac Jones a painful lesson
The Buffalo Bills beat the New England Patriots 47-17 in the AFC wild-card game at Highmark Stadium on Saturday.
Bills QB Josh Allen passed for 308 yards and five TDs (a franchise postseason record) with no interceptions and no sacks. Dawson Knox, Gabriel Davis, Emmanuel Sanders and Tommy Doyle all connected with Allen to score at least one TD.
Allen also had six carries for 66 yards, the second-highest yardage total on the team behind Devin Singletary, who rushed for 81 yards and two TDs.
"I think we feel good," Allen said. "There's some things that we can clean up and work on. But at the end of the day, we moved on, we're on to the next one and it doesn't matter what we did today. It's what we do next week."
Compared with the dominant performance by Allen, Patriots rookie QB Mac Jones had some really unpleasant memories in his first postseason game. He completed 24 of 38 passes for 232 yards, didn't pass for his first TD until the third quarter – he threw for two TDs in the end – and allowed two interceptions.
Jones had a great start to his rookie season, but his halo began to fade as his every move was put under a microscope by opponents. There were some signs of him losing rhythm in his last five regular season games, but there was no time for Jones to reflect as the postseason was at the door.
Saturday marked the worst postseason loss under head coach Bill Belichick since the 33-14 loss to the Baltimore Ravens in the wild-card game in January 2010.
It was also the Bills' fourth win over the Patriots in their past five meetings. Before that, the Patriots held a 35-5 record over the Bills between 2000 and 2019, during which Tom Brady was still with the Patriots.