Continued from page 1

“That makes it even more important for the guys that have put in the work on this team, the Andre Johnsons that have been here for forever and stuck with this organization and waited for a moment like this,” Yates said. “It makes you want to work harder for them just so it can make the moment for them more special.”

Cincinnati last reached the playoffs in 2009, but has been to the postseason just three times in the last 21 years. Their last postseason victory came at the end of the 1990 season with a 41-14 win over the Oilers.

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.”

As for Johnson and the Texans, they now have to find new goals after finally accomplishing this one. It didn’t take long to do that.

“There’s a bigger goal than just getting to the playoffs,” Johnson said. “You can’t be satisfied with it. The goal here is getting to the Super Bowl.”