Will this be Deja-vu?

One of the most enjoyable games in NFL history the Super Bowl XXIII 

The game was close throughout, but the Bengals managed to take a 16-13 lead over the electrifying 49ers late in the fourth quarter. With a minute and sixteen seconds left in the game Bengals cornerback Lewis Billups had a sure interception in the end zone, but dropped it .This would’ve sealed it and the underdog Cincinnati would have defeated the great  Joe Montana, Jerry Rice, Ronnie Lott and the star-studded 49ers.. 

The drop was a game-changing play. San Francisco marched 92 yards on their last drive and scored on a touchdown pass to receiver John Taylor with 34 seconds remaining in the game and took a 20-16 lead. 34 seconds later and the Niners won their second title  in franchise history, both of which against the Bengals. They would go on to win 5 super bowls before the 1996 season .

The Bengals haven’t advanced past the divisional round in the playoffs since 1991. They haven’t been back to the AFC Championship since 1988 and own the longest conference title game drought in the NFL.

Until now. Last weekend, with four seconds left rookie Evan McPherson kicked the game-winning field goal and ended the Bengals’ bad luck. 

After finishing 2-14 in 2020, cincinnati won the AFC North with a 10-7 record under third year head coach Zac Taylor. The team won more games this year than its previous two seasons combined. 

Perhaps the biggest reason for their turnaround is quarterback Joe Burrow. Cincinnati drafted Burrow with the first  overall pick in 2020. His rookie season ended early when  he suffered a devastating knee injury that tore his ACL and MCL and partially tore his PCL and meniscus.

File:Joe Burrow Troy Apke Kendall Fuller (50677890727).jpg - Wikimedia  Commons
Number one draft pick Joe Burrow went down with a devastating knee injury Washington Football Team in 2020. Photo credit : Wikimedia commons

His return this season helped the team get back to its first AFC championship appearance in 31 years and a chance to return to its first Super Bowl since 1988. 

If both teams win this weekend, The rematch will be set for February 13 at 6:30 est at the new So-Fi stadium Inglewood, California.

To pull this off, the 49ers have to beat the LA Rams. The Rams have lost six consecutive games to the 49ers back from 2018 not to mention taking down 2 top teams in the NFC that are “considered” super bowl contenders. 

The Bengals will need to knock off the Kansas City Chiefs at home again, just like they  did during the regular season. 

The third time could be the charm for the Bengals to bring their first Lombardi Trophy back to the Queen City. And it could look a lot like 1988. 

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