'This is a different culture': Anthony Muñoz believes Bengals have the pieces to make playoff run

Bengals look for first playoff win since 1991
Bengals Football Ja'Marr Chase Joe Burrow
Posted at 9:40 PM, Jan 12, 2022

CINCINNATI — Hall of Famer Anthony Muñoz was there the last time the Cincinnati Bengals won a playoff game. Playing in both of the Bengals' Super Bowl appearances, Muñoz knows what a winning team — and a winning culture — looks like, and he said he believes this year's Bengals have what it takes.

The 11-time Pro Bowler said he knew something was different when he watched Zac Taylor's squad in the preseason.

"From the first five minutes of practice, I'm thinking, this is a different culture," Muñoz said. "There's a different — not only enthusiasm, but there's a different level of players out there."

The more he watched, the more Muñoz said he was impressed with team's ability and camaraderie. In fact, he said the group reminds him of one of the teams with whom he went to the Super Bowl. After a 4-11 1987 season, the '88 Bengals tied for the best record in the NFL and made it to Super Bowl XXIII.

"I wouldn't doubt that they can be an '81 Bengals team, or an '88-89 Bengals where no one gave them a shot and [they] run the table," Muñoz said. "If they can stay healthy, and if that offensive line can do the job, I think they have the pieces to say OK, LA here we come."

That's not to say Saturday's game will be easy. The Bengals may have defeated the Raiders in Week 11, but the playoffs bring a different intensity. Muñoz equated the situation to the '88 Bengals facing Buffalo in the AFC Championship after beating them in Week 13 — "that game didn't matter in the regular season."

"It's going to be a drag-out war, but I think the Bengals will win," Muñoz said.

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While he has called the Tri-State home for more than 40 years, Muñoz said he believes he looks at things objectively — and he likes what he sees.

"I think they have the pieces to make that push," Muñoz said. "I'm excited."

The players are hungry for a win, and so are the fans. Muñoz said he knows Cincinnati is a great sports town and it's time the fans see a victory.

"It's overdue," Muñoz said. "When people talk about the last playoff win and I was playing in it, that's a long time ago. We are in need of a playoff win and I tell you what, no better time than Saturday against the Silver and Black."

The Bengals host the Raiders at Paul Brown Stadium Saturday at 4:30 p.m. The game will air on NBC.

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