CINCINNATI — For the first time in 50 weeks, the Cincinnati Bengals were happy in the locker room after a game at Riverfront Stadium Sunday.
Cincinnati, which lost a club-record six straight games at home this season, edged the Kansas City Chiefs, 30-27, in overtime for their first victory at Riverfront since last Dec. 21.
"This is the happiest I've been in a long time," said Boomer Esiason, who completed 28 of 44 passes for 368 yards and directed a 16-play, 79-yard march in overtime that set up Jim Breech's game-winning 32-yard field goal with 5:16 left.
"We have an offense that can chew up a lot of ground and a lot of time," Esiason said. "We needed a drive like that one to finally make something go right for us."
Cincinnati (4-8) was eliminated from the playoffs before Sunday's game.
"The best thing about this year is that it will be over in three weeks," Esiason said. "Our playoff game will have to be against (arch-rival) Cleveland next week."
Kansas City is in even worse shape than Cincinnati. The Chiefs (2-10) have lost 10 of their last 11 games.
With seven minutes left in regulation, Kansas City took its only lead of the game, 24-20, when Bill Maas blocked a 28-yard field-goal try by Breech, and Kevin Ross returned it 65 yards for a touchdown.
Breech, who just one week ago had a field goal blocked and returned 67 yards by the New York Jets' Rich Miano for a game-winning touchdown, was wondering if fate was against him just before he kicked Sunday's game-winner.
"When I went out there, I was praying it wouldn't be blocked and that I would hit it well," Breech said. "My line did a great job blocking and the field goal unit got a reprieve."
Just two minutes after the Chiefs took a 24-20 lead on Breech's blocked field goal, Esiason threw a 23-yard touchdown pass to James Brooks to give Cincinnati a 27-24 lead. Kansas City sent the game into overtime on Nick Lowery's 33-yard field goal on the final play of regulation.