Bang start to the NFL playoffs!
In the first game of the wild card round, the Cincinnati Bengals beat the Las Vegas Raiders 26-19.
With the help of the referees! Because an illegal whistle on a touchdown pass by Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow (25) is not corrected and thus paves the way for the hosts to win.
For AFC North champion Cincinnati it is the first playoff victory in 31 (!) Years. That was on January 6th. 1991. Over 11,000 days ago!
Before the game, US TV joked that Home Alone was the #1 movie in the States at the time and only four players on the current Bengals team were even born at the time.
The first points of the game at minus 1 degree: Kicker Daniel Carlson hits a field goal from 47 yards for the four-win-straight Raiders, who lost the Week 11 league clash at home by 13:32.
Boom, the Bengals! The hosts complete their first offensive drive with a touchdown: Quarterback Joe Burrow (in his first-ever playoff game) smashes the egg into the end zone — into the arms of CJ Uzomah.
Rod Fever: Extra point from Evan McPherson sits as well as his field goal attempts over 31 yards and another 30 yards. 13:3! Carlson kicks the Raiders to 6:13.
Confusion before second touchdown: While the Burrow Pass is in the air, the ref blows his whistle. Tyler Boyd still catches the leather in the end zone, but cheers very cautiously at first.
Was Burrow out? Had he crossed the line of scrimmage before throwing? No! The touchdown counts after a brief discussion between the referees. With kick it is now 20:6!
However, against the rules! Because the NFL rules state that the game is stopped immediately if the whistle is blown, even if the whistle is faulty.
The Raiders hit back right before the break! Quarterback Derek Carr, who is rumored ahead of the game as Las Vegas wanting to ditch him despite having a year left on his contract, finds Zay Jones with a strong pass. touchdown! With Kick it’s only 13:20.
Kicker duel: McPherson extends the Bengals lead to 23:13 with a field goal. Carlson restores the old deficit with a 34-yard kick, before McPherson with a field goal to make it 26:16. Before Carlson cut back to seven points. It kicks back and forth here.
At the end it gets super exciting again: The Raiders throw everything forward in the last minute! 17 seconds to play, the Carr pass comes — and is intercepted! End!
The Bengals last made the playoffs in 2015 and the Raiders in 2016. Now Cincinnati’s knockout journey continues while Las Vegas’ season is over.
Burrow after the game on NBC: “We assumed we could do it. So we’re not going to celebrate now. In the end, the defense ironed out what we couldn’t do on offense.”
The USA Insider! Nils Suling lives in the USA and analyzes the issues America is talking about. Everything about football, basketball, ice hockey, baseball, soccer, martial arts. Follow the USA insider on Twitter: @NilsSuling