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When did the Bengals last make a Super Bowl appearance?

We look at the historical performance of the Cincinnati Bengals and the last time they were in the Super Bowl.

Boomer Esiason of the Cincinnati Bengals circa 1989 is exhausted after Super Bowl XXIII at Joe Robbie Stadium in Miami, Florida Photo by Owen C. Shaw/Getty Images

The Cincinnati Bengals are headed to Super Bowl 56. The Bengals beat the Kansas City Chiefs 27-24 in the 2022 AFC Championship Game to claim the conference title. Cincinnati trailed 21-3 in the first half, but stormed back and eventually won in overtime.

This is the Bengals’ third trip to the Super Bowl, but the first since January 1989. Head coach Sam Wyche and quarterback Boomer Esiason guided the Bengals to Super Bowl 23 where they lost to the San Francisco 49ers by a final score of 20-16. Cincinnati lost a heart-breaker in that one as Joe Montana led the 49ers 92 yards on 11 plays and scored the go-ahead touchdown on a pass to John Taylor with 34 seconds left in the game.

Previously, they made it to Super Bowl 16 in January 1982, only to lose 26-21 to the 49ers. The 49ers jumped out to a 20-0 lead in the game and held on late to get what was their first Super Bowl victory.

This was the Bengals first trip to the playoffs since losing in the Wild Card round of the 2016 NFL Playoffs. Prior to this season, the Bengals had not won a playoff game in 31 years.