Bengals into AFC title game after FG sinks Titans

  • ESPN Staff Writer
  • Previously a college football writer for The Dallas Morning News
  • University of North Texas graduate

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — For 31 years, the Cincinnati Bengals had no playoff victory. Now, they are one game away from playing in a Super Bowl.

Cincinnati defeated the Tennessee Titans 19-16 in Saturday’s divisional round of the playoffs to advance to its first AFC Championship Game since 1988.

Bengals rookie place-kicker Evan McPherson hit a 52-yard winning field goal as time expired, his fourth successful kick of the game and his eighth this postseason. With at least one game left to play, McPherson has already matched Stephen Gostkowski (2006) for the most field goals by a rookie kicker in NFL postseason history.

The Bengals intercepted Titans quarterback Ryan Tannehill three times, setting up two of McPherson’s field goals.

Logan Wilson picked off Tannehill with 20 seconds left at the Cincinnati 47. Joe Burrow hit Pro Bowl rookie receiver Ja’Marr Chase with a 19-yard pass then the Bengals ran twice to set up McPherson for the win.

Burrow shook off being sacked nine times as Tennessee tied an NFL mark held by four other teams for the most in the postseason. The Bengals’ second-year quarterback threw for 348 yards, and Chase finished with 109 yards receiving.

The Titans (12-6) wrapped up their 25th season in Tennessee with their third straight loss on their own field coming in as the AFC’s No. 1 seed. They haven’t won at home since January 2003 in the postseason.

Tennessee had Derrick Henry, the 2020 Associated Press NFL Offensive Player of the Year, on the field after he missed nine games with a broken foot. He ran for a touchdown and finished with 66 yards on the ground.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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