CINCINNATI (AP) - The streak is hanging over the Bengals as they start a new season.
They haven't won a playoff game since the 1990 season, a stretch of futility tied for seventh-longest in NFL history. They've had four chances in the last eight years, and botched all of them. They've gone to Houston each of the last two seasons and lost miserably.
Just getting to the playoffs again in 2013 would be a huge accomplishment. No Bengals team has gone to the playoffs three straight years. Even that wouldn't be enough.
Whether they get the breakthrough win will come down to whether quarterback Andy Dalton improves in his third season and how a team used to being overlooked handles expectations of contending.