Bengals Salute Highlights And History With Roaring Wild Card Win

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Naturally, the Bengals would win their first playoff game since Sam Wyche, Boomer Esiason, Ickey Woods and, yes, Rodney Holman, when a relentless linebacker not known for coverage but for turnovers ripped the ball from the nephew of a former Bengals quarterback for an interception with 12 seconds left on fourth down and two yards from overtime.

Tight end C.J. Uzomah, who appeared in his news conference wearing a No. 82 jersey to honor three-time Pro Bowl Bengals tight end Rodney Holman after doing the “Ickey Shuffle,” following his touchdown, scanned the biggest Paul Brown Stadium crowd in history in the final seconds of the 26-19 Wooly and Wild Card win over the Raiders and gave another nod to history.

“Right away, I just dropped to a knee and punched the ground, like just happy,” Uzomah said. “And then after I took the knee, usually just leaving, we’re walking off the field and the fans kind of clear out. I looked up and I know we had 66,000-something, I’ll be there were still 50-something-thousand people. I know the top rows were probably cleared out but man, you could tell how much it meant to this city for us to get that win. Yeah, that was awesome. That was an awesome experience.”

Head coach Zac Taylor had been planning it for a while and he’ll figure out a place where to put the game ball he gave the city of Cincinnati after the Bengals beat-up defense hung on to get into next weekend’s AFC Divisional, foe and site TBA.

As the massive crowd rocked and wept and sang in the 25-degree weather in a continuous dull roar that refused to leave, the matter-of-fact Taylor sketched his plan in his news conference.

“We want to start new traditions here with playoff wins where we give game balls to the city and let the fans enjoy it — take selfies with it, whatever it is,” Taylor said. “We’ll figure out how we’re going to do that. (Some) people had their greatest moments tonight, so (we want them to) get a chance to enjoy these game balls with us. I told this to the players — some of them may not understand the significance of this win that happened today, but I know a lot of you in the room who are homegrown Cincinnatians certainly do. Like I said earlier, I think the city can finally exhale and just enjoy this team for what it is and take that pressure off those last 31 years.”

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