With the Cincinnati Bengals’ win on Saturday, the Detroit Lions now own the NFL’s longest playoff drought.
Before Saturday, the last time the Cincinnati Bengals won a playoff game Boomer Esiason was the quarterback and Ickey Woods had a rushing touchdown. With a 26-19 win over the Las Vegas Raiders on Saturday, the Bengals ended the NFL’s longest playoff drought at 31 years. Their last playoff win had been on Jan. 6, 1991, over the Houston Oilers.
Now, the Detroit Lions own the longest playoff drought in the league. They have lost nine straight playoff games since then, with eight subsequent playoff appearances and one division title (1993) over that span. Their last playoff appearance was in 2016. Only the Cleveland Browns have made fewer playoff appearances over the last 30 years (three), but they’ve won two postseason games.
The second-longest playoff drought is now owned by the Miami Dolphins, who last won a playoff game on Dec. 30, 2000.
The Lions last won a playoff game after the 1991 season. The 30th anniversary of that game, a 38-6 win over the Dallas Cowboys, came on Jan. 5. They went on to lose to eventual Super Bowl champion Washington in the NFC Championship Game.
Lions fans can take some solace that the playoff drought will end soon
Apart from the Lions appearing to be on the right track under head coach Dan Campbell, fans can take a little bit of solace in something. As Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press relayed, the NFL’s other longest playoff droughts–the Bengals, the Browns and the Buffalo Bills, have ended in the past three seasons.
The Lions probably won’t end their drought without a playoff win next season. Making the playoffs at all after this year’s 3-13-1 mark would be quite a jump up. But it’s fun to think about when the playoff drought will end, with more hope that it will eventually happen than there’s been in awhile.