By Chinmay Machavaram
On Jan. 2, the Bengals beat the Kansas City Chiefs in a close game 34-31, securing a playoff spot and the AFC North division for the Bengals for the second time in team history.
Junior George Mentrup saw the game in person. He said that “the environment was inspiring.”
In 2015, the Bengals secured a playoff spot in the AFC conference for the first time in the team’s history. Unfortunately, they lost to their rivals in the Wild Card round, the Pittsburgh Steelers. That was the last time the Bengals played in the playoffs.
However, this streak of missing the playoffs ended this year when former college teammates, now professional teammates Joe Burrow and Ja’marr Chase, set history on the team and in the league. Burrow, making Bengals history with most throwing yards in a game, threw for 525 yards, and had the second most throwing yards over a two-game span in NFL history.
Also making NFL history was Chase, who had the most receiving yards in a game for a rookie and most receiving yards in a season, beating former teammate, Justin Jefferson. William Huguenin-Virchaux, a freshman at Seven Hills and a lifelong Bengals fan, said, “It’s incredible. Despite recently moving from San Francisco, I’ve been a Bengals fan my entire life, and it’s great to know the team is breaking records. Ja’Marr Chase’s 266 receiving yards in a game as a rookie is a record to be proud of.”
Another record that the Bengals achieved this season was having the youngest wide receiver core with over 1000 receiving yards.
On Jan.16, the Bengals will play the Las Vegas Raiders in Cincinnati in the Wild Card round, the first round of the playoffs. Despite many players being hit by COVID and injuries, there are some promising returns.
Recently coming off the COVID reserve list is running back Joe Mixon, a vital part of the Bengals offense, as well as safety Von Bell, who plays a big role on the defense. If the Bengals win on Sunday, they will be sent to the divisional round to play the Buffalo Bills or the New England Patriots.