Sunday’s win over Pittsburgh was by far the most satisfying Bengals victory I’ve ever witnessed. I was born in May of 1989, four months after their last Super Bowl appearance. Since then, it’s been the worst of times for the Bengals franchise. 2005 was special, but watching the season end with a torn ACL suffered by Carson Palmer made it seem like too many other disappointing seasons I’d watched in misery.
The Bengals had a chance to do something Sunday they had never done in my lifetime: clinch a postseason berth in back-to-back seasons, all while knocking out their hated rivals out of the playoff picture. The offense would do everything in their power to Bungul away the game that so many other Bengals teams would have. But the defense put on a show for the ages while implanting Big Ben into the Heinz Field turf. They made big play after big play, and when the game was on the line and should have been worn down from being on the field all game-long, they found it in themselves to pull out one more big play in the form of Reggie’s Nelson’s interception of a QB known for his fourth-quarter magic.
Watching Josh Brown’s field goal go through the upright was the greatest moment of elation I’ve ever had as a Bengals fan, and no matter how the season ends now, I’ll forever view the 2012 Cincinnati Bengals season as my proudest moment as a Bengals fan.