The Cincinnati Bengals didn't win the Super Bowl, but no one is calling them the "Bungles" anymore.
While they might not have brought home the Vince Lombardi Trophy, the Bengals did bring the city together as they won their way to the big game for the first time in more than 30 years. And the franchise has decided it likes winning.
The Bengals announced today the team has extended head coach Zac Taylor's contract through the 2026 season.
"Zac has come into the league and worked to develop the foundations for a winning program that can be successful over time," said Bengals president Mike Brown in a Feb. 16 release. "The fruits of Zac's efforts were seen this year, and Zac is well-regarded by our players and coaches. I know the effort and passion Zac brings to the building and to our team, and I am pleased by his approach. And I think the city of Cincinnati sees him the way the players and I do. He's brought excitement to the town and deserves credit and recognition for that."
In 2019, Taylor became the Bengals' 10th head coach, replacing Marvin Lewis, who had served the team since 2003. In his three seasons leading the team, Taylor has a 16-32-1 record.
On Feb. 13, the Bengals lost to the Los Angeles Rams 20-23 in Super Bowl LVI, their first appearance in the big game since 1989. After earning a 10-7 regular-season record, winning the AFC Championship, and pulling out magical win after magical win in the post-season, the Bengals were thwarted by sacks and a lack of consistency.
But despite the Super Bowl defeat — which came near the end of the game — this Bengals team let Cincinnati fans dare to dream again after years of constant loss. And the team's odds for next season have already soared since their recent showing.
Cincinnati Bengals fans can thank the team for a thrilling post-season during a rally at 5 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 16, in Washington Park, 1230 Elm St. Head coach Taylor, team owner Brown and others will be on hand, according to a press release. The rally is being billed as a celebration of the AFC Championship.