Bengals end longest conference championship appearance drought, now belongs to Browns

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Bengals end longest conference championship appearance drought, now belongs to Browns
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This playoff run for the Cincinnati Bengals has been all about ending lengthy playoff droughts for the franchise. The win over the Las Vegas Raiders in the wild card round ended their 31-year drought without a playoff win, which was the longest drought in the NFL. That distinction now belongs to the Detroit Lions, who have gone 30 years since winning a playoff game.

In defeating the Tennessee Titans in the AFC divisional playoffs, the Bengals reached the AFC Championship for the first time since the 1988 season, ending a 33-year drought. That, too, was the longest drought in the NFL.

The team that now owns that distinction? Cincinnati’s old pals, the Cleveland Browns, who haven’t reached the AFC Championship since the 1989 season, a 37-21 loss to the Denver Broncos, who went on to get slammed by the San Francisco 49ers, 55-10, in Super Bowl XXIV.

The Bengals now have a chance to end the sixth-longest Super Bowl/NFL championship game drought, their last appearance being that 1988 season, losing in Super Bowl XXIII. The longest drought belongs to the Lions, who haven’t played in a championship game since winning the 1957 NFL championship over the Browns, 64 years ago. The New York Jets (53 years), Browns (49 years, not counting 1996-1998 when the Browns were not part of the league), Minnesota Vikings (45 years) and Miami Dolphins (37 years) have longer droughts than the Bengals.

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