The road to the Super Bowl begins Saturday for the Cincinnati Bengals, who take on the Houston Texans in an AFC wild card game.
The Bengals are seeking their first playoff since 1991. If you think that hasn't been a while, consider that in 1991:
- Gas was $1.12 a gallon
- The U.S. was involved in the first Gulf War
- The Dow Jones topped 3,000
- Nirvana started the grunge music movement
- The Internet is made available
Since that win, the Bengals have been in the playoffs twice, losing in their first game to Pittsburgh in 2005 and the Jets in 2009.
Bengals fans are getting excited about Saturday's game. Bengals fan Phil Mowery drove 100 miles just to get some new Bengals gear for the big game. "I didn't have anything new, I only had the older stuff. We need to support this team," he said.
Former Bengal Solomon Wilcots was on that playoff winning squad, and is thrilled the Bengals are going back. "People say you were one of the players on the last playoff team to win for the Cincinnati Bengals in the postseason. I am very shocked, very surprised because 21 years is way too long," he said.
Bengals offensive tackle Andrew Whitworth said the players don't talk much about how long it's been since they advanced in the postseason.
"We have some guys who were close to being born when that happened," he said. "We have some young guys on this team. I promise you some of them have no clue about that. We just focus on what we can do to do our best and win for our city and the Cincinnati Bengals."
Bengals receiver A.J. Green has had an exceptional first year. He became the first rookie receiver to make the Pro Bowl since Anquan Boldin in 2003. He finished the regular season with 65 receptions for 1,057 yards and seven touchdowns.
He, too, realizes how lucky he is to be in the playoffs, given that Cincinnati cornerback Nate Clements has waited more than a decade to get there.
"Being my first year and being the first time in the playoffs, I haven't experienced anything else," Green said. "Just talking to a guy like Nate, he's been in the league 11 years and this is his first time in the playoffs. That's crazy. So that's a good feeling."
The game will also be a battle of rookie quarterbacks in Andy Dalton for the Bengals and T.J. Yates for Houston. It's the first time two rookie quarterbacks have faced each other in a playoff game.
Andy Dalton grew up in Texas and is undefeated at Reliant Stadium. Dalton returned to practice on Thursday after missing action on Wednesday with the flu. He is listed as 'probable' for Saturday's game.