How did the Bengals get to Super Bowl 2022? Key players, draft picks, wins, NFL playoff results and more


The historic season continues for the Cincinnati Bengals. After defeating Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs in an 27-24 overtime thriller in the AFC Championship Game, Joe Burrow’s squad is headed to their first Super Bowl appearance in over 30 years. They’ll take on Matthew Stafford and the Los Angeles Rams at SoFi Stadium in Super Bowl LVI today, Sunday, February 13 on NBC and Peacock. The Bengals have never won a Super Bowl, and now are just one win away from the biggest milestone in franchise history.

RELATED: How to watch Super Bowl 2022: Live stream online without cable, TV channel for Rams vs. Bengals

The Bengals entered the postseason as the No. 4 seed after winning the AFC North with a 10-7 record, just one season after finishing last in the division at 4-11-1. On Super Wild Card Weekend, they defeated the Las Vegas Raiders 26-19, snapping a 31-year playoff losing streak – the longest drought without a win in the postseason in the NFL. Then they kept rolling with a win over the No. 1 seed Tennessee Titans in the Divisional round to earn a spot in the AFC Championship for the first time since 1988. From there, the Bengals faced their biggest challenge yet: taking on Mahomes, Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce on a Kansas City squad looking to make its third consecutive Super Bowl appearance. After falling behind 21-3 in the second quarter, the Bengals scored 18 unanswered points to tie the game at 21 in the third. They took the lead on a 52-yard Evan McPherson field goal, but the Chiefs tied it with a field goal of their own in the final seconds to send the game to overtime.

RELATED: Bengals are headed to the Super Bowl after 27-24 overtime upset of Chiefs

The Chiefs went to overtime in the Divisional Round as well. Facing the Bills, the Chiefs scored a touchdown on the opening drive, meaning the Bills didn’t get a chance to match. Against Cincinnati, Kansas City won the coin toss and had the chance for another opening-drive winner, but Mahomes was intercepted by Von Bell and it was McPherson’s time to shine again, this time on a 31-yard game-winner to send his team to the Super Bowl for the first time since the 1988 season.

RELATED: The Bengals’ Super Bowl history: Every appearance and win

After making the playoffs in five straight seasons between 2011-2015, the Bengals endured five seasons without a playoff berth. Throughout that time span, Cincinnati posted a record of 25-53. Just three seasons ago, in Zac Taylor’s first year as head coach, the Bengals posted a league-worst 2-14 mark. But that abysmal record secured the first pick for Cincinnati in the 2020 NFL Draft and the chance to select one of the top quarterback prospects in recent memory in LSU’s Joe Burrow.

The Bengals’ hopes for success the following season were dashed when Burrow suffered a season-ending knee injury in November and Cincinnati finished with just four wins. In the 2021 NFL Draft, the Bengals selected Burrow’s LSU teammate Ja’Marr Chase with the fifth overall pick. Together, Burrow and Chase led the Bengals to the AFC North title crown this season as Cincinnati finished the regular season with a 10-7 record.

In his last two starts of the regular season, Burrow passed for a combined 971 yards to give him the second-highest two-game passing total in NFL history, and set single-season-season franchise records for pass yards (4,611) and pass TD (34). In Week 18, Chase broke the Bengals’ single-season receiving record held by Chad Johnson with 1,440 yards. Backed by Burrow under center and Chase on the outside, the Bengals are now set for their first Super Bowl appearance since 1988. 

RELATED: Joe Burrow: We’ve been a second half team all year

NFL Wild Card round results

  • Defeated the No. 5 Las Vegas Raiders, 26-19

NFL Divisional round results

  • Defeated the No. 1 Tennessee Titans, 19-16

AFC Championship Game results

  • Defeated the No. 2 Kansas City Chiefs, 27-24 (OT)

2021 NFL Draft picks

  • Round 1: No. 5 – Ja’Marr Chase, WR, LSU
  • Round 2, No. 46 – Jackson Carman, OT, Clemson
  • Round 3, No. 69 overall – Joseph Ossai, DE, Texas
  • Round 4, No. 111 overall – Cameron Sample, DE, Tulane
  • Round 4, No. 122 overall – Tyler Shelvin, DT, LSU
  • Round 4, No. 139 overall – D’Ante Smith, OT, East Carolina
  • Round 5, No. 149 overall – Evan McPherson, K, Florida
  • Round 6, No. 190 overall – Trey Hill, C, Georgia
  • Round 6, No. 202 overall – Chris Evans, RB, Michigan
  • Round 7, No. 235 overall – Wyatt Hubert, DE, Kansas State

RELATED: Bengals draft picks 2021: All of Cincinnati’s selections, NFL draft results, team order

Bengals key personnel: Coaches and players

  • Head coach: Zac Taylor
  • Quarterback: Joe Burrow
  • Wide receiver: Ja’Marr Chase
  • Running back: Joe Mixon
  • Cornerback: Eli Apple
  • Linebacker: Logan Wilson

Bengals regular season results

  • Overall record: 10-7
  • Key wins/biggest win of the season: 34-31 victory over the Kansas City Chiefs in Week 17

Bengals recent playoff history

  • Had not advanced to the postseason since losing to the Pittsburgh Steelers in the Wild Card round in January 2016. Before defeating the Raiders on Super Wild Card Weekend, the Bengals had eight straight playoff losses dating back 31 years. Before this season, the Bengals had not made it to the Super Bowl since 1988, and the franchise has never won a Super Bowl.

Previewing the Bengals vs. Rams in Super Bowl LVI

The Bengals will now face Matthew Stafford and the Rams in Super Bowl LVI on the Rams’ home turf at SoFi Stadium – a matchup of the no. 4 seeds from both sides of the league. The Rams made it to the Super Bowl in the 2018 season, losing to the Patriots, but that was with Jared Goff under center. But it’s Stafford’s team now, and in his 13th season the 33-year-old is headed to his first Super Bowl. For the Bengals, it’s second-year QB Joe Burrow and a young squad leading the way. Bengals head coach Zac Taylor was an assistant coach on McVay’s staff in Los Angeles before getting the top job in Cincinnati, and now he’ll face his former boss in the biggest game of his career.

RELATED: PFT’s 2021 NFL offensive rookie of the year: Ja’Marr Chase

Bengals Record vs. playoff teams in regular season: 4-2


  • 24-10 vs. Pittsburgh Steelers in Week 3
  • 32-13 vs. Las Vegas Raiders in Week 11
  • 41-10 vs. Pittsburgh Steelers in Week 12
  • 34-31 vs. Kansas City Chiefs in Week 17


  • 25-22 (OT) vs. Green Bay Packers in Week 5
  • 26-23 (OT) vs. San Francisco 49ers in Week 14

How can I watch and live stream Super Bowl 2022?

  • When: Sunday, February 13, 2022
  • Where: SoFi Stadium in Los Angeles, California
  • TV Channel: NBC
  • Live streamPeacock, NBC Sports app,
  • Follow along with ProFootballTalk and NBC Sports for NFL news, updates, scores, injuries and more

Be sure to check back after each game for final scores and follow ProFootballTalk for more on the 2022 NFL Playoffs as well as game previews, recaps, news, rumors, and more

Chris Simms’ 2023 NFL Draft CB Rankings: Devon Witherspoon highlights loaded draft class


The 2023 NFL Draft is growing nearer, with just weeks remaining until teams make selections that could alter the future of their franchise forever.

A solid secondary is crucial to any team’s defensive prowess, and for the teams looking to tighten up in coverage, this year’s draft is the one to do so.

The 2023 NFL Draft cornerback class is an incredibly deep one, but which corner will be first off the board? Chris Simms unveiled his 2023 NFL Draft Cornerback rankings this week on the Chris Simms Unbuttoned podcast, posting Illinois’ Devon Witherspoon at the top of his list of corners in this year’s crop.

But trailing Witherspoon very closely are four other potential NFL superstars, with Simms ranking Michigan’s DJ Turner at No. 2, Oregon’s Christian Gonzalez at No. 3, Maryland’s Deonte Banks at No. 4 and Georgia’s Kelee Ringo at No. 5.

The 2023 NFL Draft will begin on Thursday, April 27, and end on Saturday, April 29. The first round will take place on Thursday with rounds two and three airing on Friday and rounds four through seven on Saturday. Click here for Simms’ quarterback rankings,and here for his list of top wide receivers.

RELATED: When is the 2023 NFL Draft? Date, start time, location, Round 1 order

Simms’ Top Five CB prospects in the 2023 NFL Draft

Tier One

1. Devon Witherspoon, Illinois

2. DJ Turner, Michigan

3. Christian Gonzalez, Oregon

Tier Two

4. Deonte Banks, Maryland

Tier Three

5. Kelee Ringo, Georgia

RELATED: 2023 NFL Draft order: Complete list of every pick from Round 1 through Round 7

Simms Breaks Down 2023 Draft CB Rankings

The following are highlights from Simms’ CB draft rankings. For Simms’ in-depth analysis, read below for a breakdown on each prospect and be sure to subscribe to Chris Simms Unbuttoned for an unfiltered look at the NFL, featuring player access, unabashed opinion, X&O film breakdown, and stories from a life in and around football.

No. 1: Devon Witherspoon, Illinois

What Simms said: “This guy is must-see TV. He’s up there with one of the most twitchy, sudden people I’ve ever seen in my life to the point where when he takes off, you’re like, ‘Wait, is that real? Did he really get to full speed in half a step?’ … Bump or off, both are phenomenol —  it’s rare to have that. He’s got very good play strength for a guy that’s 5’11” and a half at 181 lbs. He doesn’t know that, he thinks he’s 220 … It’s efficient and easy. He’s sudden and can see the ability to accelerate whether it’s downhill or sticking the foot in the ground and changing direction. As compared to my No. 2 and No. 3 guy, he might be a hair tighter in his hips, but his twitchiness and explosion and acceleration … you just start to go, ‘What does this guy not have, besides the fact that he’s not 6’2” or over 200 lbs.’ He’s phenomenol.”

No. 2: DJ Turner, Michigan

What Simms said: “To me, (DJ Turner is) the most technically sound corner in the draft. There’s nobody better at technique. Like Witherspoon, the ability to mirror receivers at the line of scrimmage, the quick feet, it’s phenomenol. His hips are better than Witherspoon … His ability to flip those hips, turn and break on the ball, it’s right up there. It’s actually more smooth hip-wise than it is for Devon Witherspoon … What more can you say about the guy? Start-stop ability, amazing. Make-up speed, amazing. Other than Witherspoon, I think he’s put in the second-most tough spots out of anybody I’ve watched in this. He plays man-to-man, in your face a ton against big-time receivers. He’s awesome defending double moves. He could be the best nickel or outside guy, and he’s also the fastest guy in the draft. He’s got it all.”

No. 3: Christian Gonzalez, Oregon

What Simms said: “There’s not much to pick apart here … He’s got a little more size and meat on his bones. The Tee Higgins of the world, the bigger receivers of the world, they’re gonna have a harder time pushing him around and doing that stuff. He’s got incredible ball skills … He looks prototype. He looks Darrelle Revis, Champ Bailey-ish in his uniform …  He just wasn’t as edgy as the other guys … He’s gonna match up better with DeAndre Hopkins than the other two. But I don’t know if he’ll match up better with Jaylen Waddle or Ja’Marr Chase than the other two … But his technique is real. He’s a top-20 pick. You talk size, technique and straight speed, of course this guy is one of the top corners in the draft.” 

No. 4: Deonte Banks, Maryland

What Simms said: “He has more measurables like Gonzalez. 6 foot, 197 lbs., there’s a thickness to him and a power and strength element that certainly jumps out. Let alone, speed is Real Deal Holyfield … man-to-man, great legs, runs easy … He’s comfortable in his speed. He’s never panicked. He’s comfortable in going, ‘You have a step on me? That’s fine, I’m good,’ … But he’s also incredible, like Witherspoon and Turner, at getting on top of people when they try to run a go-route. No one can ever really get around him for the most part … He’s sticky as hell, he’s got very good feet, but he doesn’t know how to use his hands at all yet. So he’s not really that great at jamming people at the line of scrimmage, but he’s never not there … I thought his ability to play the ball and create PBUs in those 50/50 situations where the quarterback tries to throw the ball back shoulder and all that, he’s got a great feel and vision to be able to cover and see the throw at the same time that I was very impressed with.”

No. 5: Kelee Ringo, Georgia

What Simms said: “When you turn on the film, you go, ‘What? This guy’s a corner, he’s not a safety?’ Because he has a prototype safety vibe … Against the bigger, straight-liner guys, nobody’s gonna push this dude around. That’s certainly not going to be an issue, that along with the straight speed. Hey, the change of direction stuff is not beautiful. He’s a little heavy-footed because he’s a bigger guy … but it’s not bad … When he opens up, he can really go; obviously with a 4.36 second 40 time … He’s very smooth as far as an athlete overall.” 

For more preview content of the 2023 NFL Draft, stay tuned to Chris Simms UnbuttonedProFootballTalk and NBC Sports EDGE for all the latest updates, player analysis and mock drafts.

Chris Simms’ 2023 NFL Draft Position Rankings: The top QBs, WRs, RBs, and more ahead of draft weekend


The 2023 NFL Draft takes place on Thursday, April 27 through Saturday, April 29 in Kansas City, Missouri. Click here for the full first-round draft order to find out when your team is picking.

Ahead of this year’s draft, Chris Simms has already started analyzing the top prospects by position on the Chris Simms Unbuttoned podcast. So far, Simms has revealed his highly anticipated list of the top 5 quarterback prospects and wide receivers. See below to find out who made the top 5 names for each position and be sure to check back for updates!

Be sure to subscribe to Chris Simms Unbuttoned for more on the 2023 NFL Draft as well as an unfiltered look at the NFL, featuring player access, unabashed opinion, X&O film breakdown, and stories from a life in and around football.

RELATED: When is the 2023 NFL Draft? Date, start time, location, Round 1 order

Chris Simms’ 2023 NFL Draft Position Rankings:

Chris Simms’ 2023 NFL Draft QB Rankings:

  1. C.J. Stroud, Ohio State
  2. Bryce Young, Alabama
  3. Hendon Hooker, Tennessee
  4. Anthony Richardson, Florida
  5. Dorian Thompson-Robinson, UCLA and Will Levis, Kentucky

Chris Simms’ 2023 NFL Draft WR Rankings:

  1. Zay Flowers, Boston College
  2. Jaxon Smith-Njibga, Ohio State
  3. Quentin Jonston, TCU
  4. Michael Wilson, Stanford
  5. Jalin Hyatt, Tennessee

Chris Simms 2023 NFL Draft Cornerback Rankings

  1. Devon Witherspoon, Illinois
  2. DJ Turner, Michigan
  3. Christian Gonzalez, Oregon
  4. Deonte Banks, Maryland
  5. Kelee Ringo, Georgia

How can I watch the 2023 NFL Draft live?

ESPN, ABC, and NFL Network will air all seven rounds of the 2023 NFL Draft.

What time does the NFL Draft start?

The first round of the 2023 NFL Draft will get underway on Thursday at 8 p.m. ET. Rounds two and three will commence Friday at 7 p.m. ET, with Saturday’s final rounds at 12 p.m.

Follow along with ProFootballTalk for the latest news, storylines, and updates surrounding the 2023 NFL Season and be sure to subscribe to NFLonNBC on YouTube!