Originally posted on Fox Sports Ohio  |  Last updated 9/10/12
Bengals fans are rightfully excited about their team's return to the spotlight on Monday Night Football. It's been almost two years since the orange and black were featured on the big stage. Monday's opponent, the Baltimore Ravens, are expected to contend for the AFC North title and at least get back into the 2012-13 NFL postseason. That's where the problem lies. The Cincinnati Bengals have lost their last 15 games against teams that would go on to make the playoffs. Open the history books a little further, and have lost 20 of their last 21 games against postseason-bound opponents. A little bright spot - that one win in the last 21 games was against Baltimore. The streak began in 2009. The Bengals were 9-3 and facing Minnesota. The Vikings crushed the Bengals 30-10, and would go on to win the NFC North. The following week, San Diego beat Cincinnati 27-24 en route to an AFC West title. 2009 ended with back-to-back losses to the New York Jets, 37-0 in the regular season and 24-14 in the playoffs. In 2010, the Bengals faced nine teams that would go on to make the playoffs. After losing to New England in week one, they took down Baltimore on September 19th, 15-10. Without scoring a single touchdown, they beat the tough Ravens defense thanks to Mike Nugent's fie field goals. It was the last time they beat a playoff team. Since then, the results have not been pretty; Date Opponent Score Opp. Playoff berth Oct. 24, 2010 Atlanta Loss - 39-32 NFC South champion Nov. 8, 2010 Pittsburgh Loss - 27-21 AFC North champion Nov. 14, 2010 Indianapolis Loss - 23-17 AFC South champion Nov. 25, 2010 New York Jets Loss - 26-10 AFC Wild Card team Dec. 5, 2010 New Orleans Loss - 34-30 NFC Wild Card team Dec 12, 2010 Pittsburgh Loss - 23-7 AFC North champion Jan 2, 2011 Baltimore Loss - 13-7 AFC Wild Card team Sept. 18, 2011 Denver Loss - 24-22 AFC West champion Sept. 25, 2011 San Francisco Loss - 13-8 NFC West champion Nov. 13, 2011 Pittsburgh Loss - 24-17 AFC Wild Card team Nov. 20, 2011 Baltimore Loss - 31-24 AFC North champion Dec 4, 2011 Pittsburgh Loss - 35-7 AFC Wild Card team Dec. 11, 2011 Houston Loss - 20-19 AFC South champion Jan. 1, 2012 Baltimore Loss - 24-16 AFC North champion Jan. 7, 2012 Houston Loss - 31-10 AFC South champion Yes, the Bengals have won 11 games since this streak began. But not a single one of those 11 wins came against a team that made the postseason that year. Obviously, we won't know if tonight's Bengals game will continue the streak or snap it until later this year when the playoff picture begins to form. But it's still an interesting streak, especially for a team that actually made the playoffs last year and are expected to contend for another berth.
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