I have never seen my favorite football team win a playoff game. Ever. We went to the playoffs for five years in a row recently, and we never won a game. But there was one time where we had the game won. We were moving on to the next round. We had a chance at a Super Bowl run (and we definitely would’ve made that run if Andy Dalton had never gotten injured), but instead we suffered defeat against our rivals the Pittsburgh Steelers and my arch nemesis Ben Roethlisberger.
I actually passed up tickets to the game knowing it was going to be a complete monsoon, and I believed we didn’t even have a chance to compete without Dalton. I was at the game in December when Dalton got injured, and the Steelers just completely assblasted us while our offense had basically fallen off. McCarron had maybe a decent game or two leading up to the playoffs, but our offense was basically stagnant.
I was right about it being hurricane weather in Cincinnati, and if you go back and look at the replay of the game you’ll see what I mean. I was also right about us having no chance without Dalton. We went into the half down 6-0, and then headed into the 4th quarter down 15-0. The season was over, and the entire Who Dey Nation was crushed while we couldn’t do anything but say “What if”. Then, the script was flipped.
I don’t quite remember how everything started happening. I refuse to look it up too, because I don’t want to relapse. Here’s what I remember.
Jeremy Hill scores at the start of the 4th to make it 15-7. Then Nugent would later hit a field goal to make it 15-10. Then literally the greatest moment of my life happened when McCarron connected with AJ Green for the go ahead touchdown with two minutes left. The Bengals then went for two and if I remember correctly it was literally the worst play call of all time. That’s OK, we still have the lead.
Landry Jones (haha) leads the Steelers out next drive due to Big Ben being injured, and Vontaze Burfict comes up with a huge interception to seal the deal. The Bengals have just defeated the Pittsburgh Steelers and we’ve won our first playoff game since 1991. All we gotta do is get one more first down and run out the clock. And then that’s when it happened. My world started to fall apart.
The very first play of the drive Jeremy Hill fumbles. Just gets stripped. I didn’t feel great about that, but I didn’t worry too much. The Steelers had to drive like 80 yards with less than a minute left, plus Landry Jones was their Quarterback. Then fatass Ben steps onto the field. OK whatever, he’s hurt. Let’s just stop them and get on to next week.
Then they start moving the ball a little bit. Picking up first down after first down. Time is running out though. They get to around the 50 yard line, and Big Ben attempts a pass across the middle to his best receiver, Antonio Brown. A couple of players are going for the ball, and Vontaze Burfict accidentally kills Antonio Brown. The guys laying there in the middle of the field, and he’s obviously dead. Accidentally though. A late flag comes in and they call a personal foul on Burfict for hitting a guy with his shoulder. Then while he’s down that asshole Joey Porter comes out trying to pick fights, and we get called for another 15 yard penalty for it??
30 Free Yards. A field goal attempt. Lose 16-18. Haven’t been back to the playoffs since. The game just kind of crushed the whole franchise, and our entire fan base. We haven’t been the same. We lost both of our coordinators after that season. Our defense has gotten worse since. Our offensive line has became non-existent (although it looks as if it’s improved). We’ve fired an offensive coordinator. And then we basically fired a Head Coach only to give him an extension, I don’t understand how that all went down.
And the Steelers are still winners. They’ve reaped all the benefits. They’ve continued to win the division. Life just isn’t fair.