The Pittsburgh Steelers went one-and-done in the postseason during the 2017 season, coming off their first-round bye only to lose at home to the Jacksonville Jaguars. It was a setback for a team that had just played in the AFC Championship Game the year prior and had advanced further than they did previously for three straight years.
But hey, at least they’re not the Cincinnati Bengals, who recently celebrated their 10,000th consecutive day without having won a playoff game, an anniversary that we unfortunately missed by a few days.
The Bengals most recently won a playoff game during the 1990 season, defeating the Houston Oilers 41-14 at home in the Wildcard Round on January 6, 1991. January 6, 1991 is 10,004 days ago, so the anniversary date was four days ago on Thursday.
Cincinnati went on to lose to the Los Angeles Raiders the following week by a score of 20-10. That would in fact be the last time they would even reach the postseason for a decade and a half, not returning to the playoffs until the 2005 season, during which they faced the Steelers in the opening round and Kimo Von Oelhoffen mangled Carson Palmer. Pittsburgh went on to win the Super Bowl.
While the Bengals have not won a postseason game in what is creeping closer and closer to three decades, however, they have gotten significantly better. They mad six appearances in the postseason in seven years from 2009 to 2015, though they lost in the Wildcard Round every single time, most recently in truly crushing fashion by the Steelers.
That was actually Pittsburgh’s first postseason victory since the 2010 season, which spared them from joining, well every single other team in the league. You see, the Steelers are the only single team, of all 32 teams in the league, that have never gone five or more seasons without posting a victory in the postseason in the Super Bowl era. You can look it up if you don’t believe me.
Just think about that. Four years is a long time for the Steelers and their fans to have not won a playoff game, even though they at least made a couple of trips to the playoffs in that span. Yet the Bengals have not won one since the 1991 season.
In the spirit of this inauspicious anniversary, I present to you some facts about what life was like on January 6, 1991. “Justify My Love” by Madonna topped the charts at the time. Michael, Christopher, and Jessica were the top three baby names of the year in America. Jorge Serrano Elías was elected President of Gautemala. The average cost of a new house was $120,000, and gas was $1.12 a gallon. Movies like Edward Scissorhands, Kindergarten Cop, and The Godfather III were released around that time.
And the Bengals were actually capable of winning in the postseason. They have a 5-14 all-time record, losing twice in the Super Bowl. They’ve only had three seasons in which they won a postseason game altogether.