How Many Times Have the Cincinnati Bengals and Las Vegas Raiders Met in the NFL Playoffs?

The Cincinnati Bengals and Las Vegas Raiders enter Super Wild Card Weekend of the NFL Playoffs from very different places. The Bengals had already wrapped up the AFC North entering Week 18 and were content to rest quarterback Joe Burrow against the Cleveland Browns and settle for the No. 4 seed. The Raiders needed an overtime field goal in the very last two possible seconds of the 2021 regular season in order to clinch a playoff berth and the No. 5 seed.

Now the two original American Football League franchises meet for just the third time in history and the first time since one of the more infamous injuries to one of the game’s biggest stars. It also marks the second time the teams will face each other season. The Bengals and Raiders kick off the Super Wild Card Round on Saturday at 1:30 p.m. on NBC.

The Bengals’ prayers weren’t answered the first time they played the Raiders in the NFL Playoffs in 1975

The Raiders and Bengals first met in the playoffs in 1975
Ted Hendricks | Michael Zagaris/Getty Images

The Bengals and Raiders first met in the playoffs all the way back in the Divisional Round in 1975. If you don’t quite remember this 31-28 victory by the Raiders at the Oakland Coliseum, it might be because of what happened in the game that preceded it that late December Sunday afternoon. That would be the “Hail Mary” game between the Dallas Cowboys and Minnesota Vikings, with Roger Staubach connecting with Drew Pearson on a 50-yard touchdown in the final minute for a 17-14 victory.

The Bengals tried to make some comeback magic of their own, falling behind 31-14 in the fourth quarter only to rally for a pair of touchdowns to make it 31-28 and getting the ball back on a fumble recovery at the Raiders’ 37-yard line with 4:19 remaining.

But a sack out of field goal range and an incomplete pass on fourth down killed that scoring opportunity. Any hopes of completing the comeback died with 50 seconds left when the Bengals went all out to try and block a Ray Guy punt and instead ran into Guy, giving the Raiders a game-clinching first down.

The Bo Jackson injury game in 1991 was the more famous of the two previous playoff meetings

All the focus was on the Bengals and Raiders in their most-recent playoff matchup in 1991, with the Raiders winning at the LA Coliseum, but losing running back Bo Jackson to a devastating hip injury in the third quarter that ended his football career and severely curtailed his baseball career.

The Bengals, who reached the Divisional Round with a 41-14 Wild Card victory over the Houston Oilers, were tied 10-10 in the fourth quarter against Los Angeles when Raiders quarterback Jay Schroeder put the game away with two passes. The first, on 3rd-and-20 from their own 22, went for 26 yards to Tim Brown. Three plays later, Schroeder hit tight end Ethan Horton for a 41-yard touchdown and a 17-10 lead.

The Raiders later tacked on a field goal for a 20-10 victory. But the loss of Jackson was impossible for the Raiders to overcome and they lost the AFC Championship Game the next week to the up-and-coming Buffalo Bills, who reached their first of four consecutive Super Bowls with an eye-popping 51-3 victory.

The 20-10 loss was the first of eight consecutive postseason losses for the Bengals, a streak that Cincinnati carries into Saturday’s game.

The Bengals had no trouble with the Raiders back in Week 11


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The Bengals played in Las Vegas back in Week 11 coming off a two-game losing streak that had dropped their record to 6-4. But coming off their bye week, the Bengals righted the ship with a convincing 32-13 victory.

Joe Mixon led the Bengals with 121 yards rushing and two touchdowns, while Burrow, who was enduring a bit of a slump in his 10th game after a season-ending knee injury the year before, was 20-for-29 for 148 yards and one touchdown. But the touchdown pass was a critical one: A six-yard toss to rookie Ja’Marr Chase to give the Bengals a comfortable 22-13 lead with 5:03 remaining.

After an interception on the Raiders’ subsequent possession, Mixon scored his second touchdown to give Cincinnati a commanding 29-13 lead with 3:56 left.

That was the third straight loss for the Raiders, who dropped to 5-5. But Las Vegas would end the season with four straight wins to take a Wild Card spot. Now they travel to Ohio for the first Raiders-Bengals playoff game ever played in Cincinnati.

Stats courtesy of Pro Football Reference