Bengals advance to AFC Championship Game with 19-16 win over Titans

AFC Divisional Playoffs - Cincinnati Bengals v Tennessee Titans
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For the first time since 1988, the Bengals are in the AFC Championship Game.

Cincinnati used a last-second, 52-yard field goal to defeat the conference’s No. 1 seed Tennessee 19-16.

The Bengals were ahead 16-6 after Joe Mixon’s 16-yard touchdown run with 9:34 left in the third quarter. But the Titans scored 10 straight points to tie the game at 16 at the end of the third quarter.

The Titans had a couple of fourth-quarter opportunities, but couldn’t capitalize on them. With 7:21 left in the game, the Bengals stuffed running back Derrick Henry for a 2-yard loss on fourth-and-1 from the Cincinnati 35.

But a critical turnover at the end of the game put Cincinnati in position to win. With 28 seconds left, quarterback Ryan Tannehill’s pass was tipped off the hands of receiver Nick Westbrook-Ikhine and landed in linebacker Logan Wilson’s hands for an interception.

With the ball on the Cincinnati 47, quarterback Joe Burrow and receiver Ja’Marr Chase immediately got the Bengals into field-goal range with a 19-yard completion to the Tennessee 34.

A few plays later, kicker Evan McPherson sent a 52-yard field goal through the uprights as time expired to win the game.

It was his fourth field goal of the contest, with the rest coming from 38, 45, and 54 yards out.

The Titans tied an NFL postseason record with nine sacks on Burrow, but the quarterback stayed resolute throughout the contest. He finished 28-of-37 passing for 348 yards with an interception.

Chase had five receptions for 109 yards as well.

Tannehill finished 15-of-24 for 220 yards with a touchdown and three interceptions. While running back Derrick Henry returned for his first game since October, he had just 62 yards on 20 carries. D’Onta Foreman had 66 yards on just four carries.

But Tennessee’s offense finished just 1-of-8 on third down, keeping the unit from extending drives.

Cincinnati finished 7-of-15 in the same category.

The victory represents the Bengals’ first road postseason win in team history. The club was previously 0-7.

The Bengals will be back on the road next week to face the winner of Sunday’s matchup between the Bills and Chiefs.

91 responses to “Bengals advance to AFC Championship Game with 19-16 win over Titans

  1. Can someone please explain to me how Chase was that wide open with that much of a huge cushion on that last 19 yard completion???
    Tennessee had a great past rush all game but the DBs played 12 to 15 yards off the line of scrimmage all game. That isn’t prevent, it is prevent you from winning!!

  2. Good thing Tanny gloated over beating his old team, the Fins. At least he could look back fulfilled at the regular season. He has beaten the Dolphins. He has that.

  3. WHODEY!!!

    Representing the AFC North quite well… hope you rats, stealers, and stains are enjoying watching the games from home!!!

    WHY NOT US!!!

  4. Cincinnati better fix that leaking OL or the Buffalo or KC defense will have more then 9 sacks.

  5. Now we all know why many wondered how in the world the Titans were the number seed in the AFC.

  6. Not at all surprised. Titans were never at the races. Tannehill looked shaky and never settled.

  7. The only way Tennessee could possibly lose that game today with that defense was if Tannehill threw 3 picks. Well he did. Cincinatti got away with it today. They’ll be playing against a real QB next week and get smoked.

  8. Vrabel outcoached himself
    1. Going for two cost him the game as he could have run out of the clock in the end
    2. Not icing the rookie kicker for the game winning FG
    3. Running Tannehill on 3rd and 1
    4. Rushing Derick Henry back to the team. He made no difference

    At least playoff football is back instead of the snoozefest of last week

  9. The Titans played well in every phase of the game. The loss is all on Tannehill. Despite getting 9 sacks on Burrow, those 3 ints by Tannehill were too much to overcome.

  10. I’m a Tenn fan, but have to vent. The first INT was definitely on RT. The other two were tipped by the receivers, so that puts some of the blame on them….this is football, not volleyball. You’re paid to catch it. But my question is…..who called the plays to have RT throw a pass??? The running game was working!. Especially on that last play, all they had to do was keep the ball on the ground. Try for a first down run or go into overtime. No reason at all to try a pass at that point. OC was too over-confident. Their focus should have been on protecting the ball.

  11. The decision to go for the (missed) two point conversion by the Titans in the first half ended up being huge. Imagine if they’d had lead towards the end instead a tie and being forced to push for the win.

  12. Why was Tenn. playing for a tie at the end before the pick? No sense of urgency letting the clock run down. Horrible coaching and going for 2 when they got the penalty earlier. Congrats Bengals, its been many years!!

  13. Tried to warn about Henry’s foot. That’s a 6 month full healed situation for a 250 lb pro athlete. The hubris from Tenn is fascinating.

    Julio Jones is an embarrassment and failure, and he’s cooked. Tenn in real trouble in the future with the Henry/Tannehill contracts and no 1st rd pick.

  14. Buff or KC will kill the Bengals next week. Tenn. had home field and they lose to Cincy? Pathetic. Foreman was the better RB and he sat most of the game. Henry was not ready yet.

  15. If you sack an opposing teams QB 9 times you should probably win. Someone tell Vrabel that it’s not 2000 anymore. Great defense and below average QB play won’t win anymore. Vrabels a meathead jock in the mold of Dan Quinn.

  16. Very glad Cinci prevailed given the phantom INT NY gave them. Tannehill was the old Tannehill with 3 Ints. 9 sacks really kept the Titans in the game. What a big difference it meant going for 2..missing the end zone not taking the sure xtra point…hmmm great coaching job Vrabel!! Cinci will be tough!!!

  17. I didn’t see the two previous INTs but the CBS crew saying that Tannehill “threw the game away” on that last drive is ridiculous. It hit a NFL WR in the hands and bounced off. Westbrook makes that catch and the Titans are in FG range.

  18. You sack the other team’s QB 9 times and still lose at home, to the 4 seed, with the benefit of a bye week, then it’s pretty clear all the pieces aren’t in place. Vrabel and the Titans brass need to have some serious conversations about how they’re going to get better at QB and OC this offseason. Tomorrow is soon enough to start.

  19. McPherson is turning into a great 5th round pick. Nice to see the Bengals learned their lesson after giving up on Elliot so quickly.

  20. The one game where I didn’t think an upset would occur … one down and more to come in this wacky n unprobable season … n just imagine if gimpy shoulder Jimmy G out matches the HOF one on the frozen tundra screwing up you know whose best chance to get the the superbowl in quite some time … go niners just for the fun of it.

  21. Joey Franchise needs to learn that when the D-Ends beat the tackles, he is supposed to step up into the pocket instead of backpedaling and rolling out. He’s mobile, but not that fast.

  22. Titans wasted too much time playing not to lose, I knew they would lose at around the 30 second mark, my suspicions were true right as the INT happened. Tannehill is not the answer for Tennessee; it needs a new QB. Congrats to Bengals fans for making it back to the AFC title game, HOPING for a super cold game @ Buffalo!

  23. Experiencing kicker envy. McPherson was great. Not as impressed with Bengals in-game adjustments on offense. 5 sacks at half and they do little to help Burrow with quick options. Hard to see them beating Chiefs or Bills, but they have some magic.

  24. That Cincinnati line is horrible BUT Burrow doesn’t help the case with his back peddling and immobility. I get it the kids second year but when you are facing that heavy of a pressure just go down!!!!

  25. Gotta love Burrow being interviewed and socially distancing – and then getting fist bumped and hugged at the end of the interview 😂

  26. Tannehill is NOT a franchise QB. His time as caretaker has run out. Titans need to invest in the future at the position immediately.

    Also, though it probably wouldn’t have changed the final outcome, Foreman should have gotten more touches.

    Titans D wasn’t stellar, but played well enough today to pull out a win. Their offense simply could not keep up.

  27. Tannehill last INT was met by the Dback and WR at the same time.

    Even during the replay the commentator noted that the DB was sitting on the route.

    The excusing make by Tannehill fans is absolutely legendary at this point.

  28. I see a lot of people bashing tannehil. No he didn’t play great, but I think Vrabel hurt his team more than anyone else. Horrible decision making from the very first play of the game. Constantly trying to outsmart everyone instead of just playing smash mouth football like they’ve been doing all year long. That 3rd an 1 late in the game with the qb read option out of the shotgun was one of the worst calls all game.

  29. My NY Giants’ O line snuck in and impersonated the Bengals’ O line. I hope that O line has someone coming back from injury, or on the bench or on the practice squad. What’s Anthony Munoz doing?

  30. Burrow will get all the credit, but Chase, the Kicker, and the D won this game. If YAC didn’t count as passing yards, Burrow did little to nothing. Chase took a badly thrown 5 yd screen pass and turned it into a 50+ yd run. Dude is a monster and will be a problem not just for the AFC North, but for everyone. Also, the Bengals better do something about the OL or Burrow’s career will be short lived. He has very poor vision and escapability when pressured and gets hit in some very cringe worthy ways. In other news, Tannehill was terrible. And why in the name of football did the Titans continue to force feed Henry when it was clear he didn’t have the same burst? Foreman clearly looked more explosive and had the hot hand. Anyway, congrats to Bengals fans. The AFC Championship should be fun no matter who comes out of the Chiefs/Bills game.

  31. For those saying the Bengals can never beat the Chiefs or Bills with this O-line, the Bengals already beat the Chiefs this year with this O-Line.

  32. Yeah, Cincinnati gutted it out, but they almost lost to a team with a game-manager for a QB.

    I’m not impressed.

    9 sacks? They HAVE to draft o-linemen next year, said Captain Obvious.

  33. Tannahill and Wentz are not the QB’s to lead the Titans and Colts to the SB! Their windows are closing and if both teams do not address their QB situation next year will be their last chance at the SB.

    Both QB’s are just not very good under pressure!

    Next year the window will start opening for the Texans with the emergence of Davis Mills. Seeing today’s game, the Texans had better go OL, WR, and RB in this year’s draft to protect Mills and give him some weapons!

  34. It’s sure looking like Patrick Mahomes is looking like a prophet!
    “We will see you in the playoffs…”

    That’s going to be a hell of a rematch!

  35. Buff or KC will kill the Bengals next week. Tenn. had home field and they lose to Cincy? Pathetic. Foreman was the better RB and he sat most of the game. Henry was not ready yet.

    We already beat KC costing them the no.1 spot…
    Do you really think it won’t be competitive?

  36. Receivers are paid to catch the ball, defensive backs are paid to stop the catch. A QB has to work in that environment, so good and bad things are going happen. The trouble is that INTs are always blamed on the QB. If the receiver muffs the catch, forgets his route, etc….the QB gets blamed. But the facts are the RT’s stats through the season are very good. The old goat has had his share of picks too. RT had a number of great throws in the game that the receivers muffed. Fingers need to be pointed at the right persons

  37. Love Burrow but the AFC Championship is being played tomorrow. That is true no matter who won today’s game.

  38. Congrats to WhoDey Nation. Always impressive to beat the No. 1 seed at their place. And, as far as their chances against KC or Buffalo, “you have to be in it to win it”, and they deserve to be in it!

    Lay off Vrabel – Henry played subpar, and Tannehill is who he is. Vrabel has to play the cards he’s been dealt. They did well to dig out of a 10-point hole in the second half, and they had their chances to win, plus nine sacks of Burrow.

  39. Rohanz2000 says:
    January 22, 2022 at 8:04 pm
    Oh BTW McPhereson is the next Justin Tucker

    8 2 Rate

    Ahem….Neither will ever be Vinatieri with 4 rings and the greatest clutch kicker in NFL history.

    Enough with these forced crownings.


  41. Good job Bengals!! Thanks for giving us something to cheer about
    Sincerely, Louisiana

  42. and one more thing……I’ll agree the INT of Burrow was questionable, but what about the two gimmes to Cin from the refs?
    A sack of JB gets wiped away because …oops, oh yeah, um, they meant to call a timeout before the play. And another sack gets wiped away….oops, um, yeah, we meant to call delay of game…. so we’ll call it now and then let them play 3rd down again
    What is that????

  43. patsfan4lifedynasty says:
    January 22, 2022 at 7:56 pm
    Joe Burrow > Josh Allen


    Any cfl qb > Mac Jones.

  44. I’ve never seen a Bengals team (or Browns) overcome a momentum swinging bad break like Burrow’s tipped INT.I think they just may win it all.

  45. Jimmypinthe416 says:
    January 22, 2022 at 8:56 pm
    patsfan4lifedynasty says:
    January 22, 2022 at 7:56 pm
    Joe Burrow > Josh Allen


    Any cfl qb > Mac Jones.
    CFL QB > Brady when he doesn’t cheat

  46. every year there is a fluke team..this year it’s the Bengals;

    Tannehill single-handedly cost the Titans that game, although playing prevent defence almost never helps;

    neither the Bills nor the Chiefs will be as generous;

  47. I see lots of criticism of the Titans QB Evan Tannerhill, but I can’t help wonder if Coach Vrabel doesn’t deserve more blame for the loss. Trying for the (failed) 2-pt conversion and then a fourth and one (instead of a makable field goal) both with plenty of time to go would have put the Titans ahead – likely by 4 – in the 4th qtr. Totally different scenario for the Bengals even if they still intercept late; now forces to go for a TD. And with the Titans defense absolutely killing the QB, would seem to have put the Titans in position for the win.

  48. GoodellMustGo says:
    January 22, 2022 at 9:17 pm
    Jimmypinthe416 says:
    January 22, 2022 at 8:56 pm
    patsfan4lifedynasty says:
    January 22, 2022 at 7:56 pm
    Joe Burrow > Josh Allen


    Any cfl qb > Mac Jones.
    CFL QB > Brady when he doesn’t cheat


    I’m guessing that means the pats shouldn’t have won any of those Super Bowls then right? Cuz if he cheated your team has none. Which is it?

  49. We are seeing the Bengals start a Dynasty type decade. They may not win it all this year but get use to seeing them in the AFC Championship game. They are an offensive line away from being perennial Super Bowl contenders. If Mike Brown has half of a brain he will so everything he can this offseason to protect Joe Burrow.

  50. Evan McPherson is the second best kicker if football after Tucker. Prove me wrong.

  51. patsfan4lifedynasty says:
    January 22, 2022 at 7:56 pm
    Joe Burrow > Josh Allen


    Joe Burrow > Josh Allen > Mac Jones

  52. thirstyforliberaltears says:
    January 22, 2022 at 10:00 pm
    Evan McPherson is the second best kicker if football after Tucker. Prove me wrong.


    I submit into evidence, Exhibit A (Kareem Hunt). The Defense rests Your Honor.

  53. No one mentions the gift INT the Titans got when the ball hit the ground. The Bengals D played lights out. Looking forward to the AFC Championship game.

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