LOS ANGELES, Ca. (LEX 18) — In their first Super Bowl trip in 1982, the Bengals lost to San Francisco by five. In 1989, Cincinnati lost again to the 49ers by four.
This time the Bengals were taking on the Los Angeles Rams in their stadium and it was another close finish.
Bengals down 13-3 in the 2nd quarter when Joe Burrow tosses to Joe Mixon. He throws the touchdown pass to Tee Higgins for the six yard score. Bengals down 13-10 at the half.
Start of the third quarter, Burrow fires deep and finds Higgins again. This one going 75 yards for the touchdown and Cincinnati has the 17-13 lead.
The teams would trade field goals so the Rams were down four late and needed a touchdown. Matthew Stafford hits Cooper Kupp for the score. Rams take a 23-20 lead.
Bengals just needed a field goal for the tie, but on 4th down, Burrow chased by Aaron Donald and the pass is incomplete.
The Rams hold off the Bengals to win their 2nd Super Bowl championship 23-20.
"Proud of them. It's a hard road to get to the Super Bowl. Our guys represented us the right way. I know our fans are proud of them. They made our organization really proud and we just didn't finish it off. But really proud of this special team. It's a rare team to get to coach. As a coach you don't get many of these opportunities and I'll never take this group for granted," said Bengals Head Coach Zac Taylor.
"So proud of this team and so many guys on this team deserve this. So many great players. Guys that have given it their heart and soul to this team. That game today is the story of our season. It's up and down, it's tough and we're a freakin' tough team that showed up late and got it done. I'm just excited," said Matthew Stafford.
Burrow was 22-of-33 for 263 yards and a touchdown. He was sacked 7 times.
The Bengals knocked on the door to a championship maybe a little earlier than experts believed might be possible. So, you'd expect them to be real contenders for many seasons to come.