Bengals win at Buffalo

If any skeptics still needed proof that the Bengals were serious, they got it. Defeating the Bills 27-10 in the snow in Buffalo, they earned a spot in the American Conference Finals for the second year in a row.

Once again, it’s against the Chiefs that the Bengals face next Sunday in Arizona with a ticket to the 57th Super Bowl.

• Also read: The 49ers rule out the Cowboys

• Also read: NFL: Eagles pull out the steamroller

For the Bills, even the presence of the amazing Damar Hamlin in the locker room did not breathe the necessary energy.

The reason is hard to pin down, but many continue to doubt the Bengals. Although they warmed the Rams to the Super Bowl last year. Although they have beaten the mighty Chiefs in their last two games. Even if they rely on a truly exceptional quarterback in Joe Burrow.

It’s not all about the quarterback, but Burrow is in a class of his own.

In their first 52 seasons, the Bengals were mostly goofballs with just five playoff wins.

Burrow, an Ohio native, led the offense to multiple playoff victories for the Bengals in three short seasons. Given the sordid history of this franchise beforehand, it’s simply unimaginable.

Some players have the potential to change the image of the organization. The aptly nicknamed Joe Cool is one of them.

Full advantage

The Bengals had every chance to win against the Bills in the World, but what’s surprising is the fact that they dominated them so much.

So there’s Burrow, who completed 23 of 36 passes for 242 yards and two touchdowns. He set the tone from the start, completing the first nine passes in a hostile environment.

However, this is far from the only reason that explains this humiliation of the bill. The Bengals won the physical battle long ago. The offensive line, while missing three quality starters, never gave up on the Bills’ defensive front, which was invisible.

The Bengals scored on five of their eight offensive series, except for one inconsequential possession late in the game.

Burrow quickly took control of the game with touchdown passes to Ja’Marr Chase and Hayden Hurst in the first quarter to silence the Buffalo crowd.

Defense in control

On the other hand, the defensive line hurt the poor Bills offensive line, which looked confused and frustrated. The Bills’ usually skilled quarterback, Josh Allen, has only missed one touchdown pass this season.

Defensive coordinator Lou Anarumo has a knack for mixing up the most potent offenses. Bills never found the recipe.

The disappointment is huge for the Bills. This team was established as the favorite for top honors before the season, and that is based heavily on the prowess of Josh Allen. This plan has clear boundaries.

Work on the board

The loss of Von Miller along the way put the defense back on top without a quarterback that has been sorely lacking in recent seasons.

The offensive line was also tight. In the receiving group, it’s a lot to ask Gabe Davis to pick up gaps in the lineup when Stefon Diggs is off.

And it’s Diggs, let’s talk about it! He saw fit to leave the locker room minutes after the match. He blocked the midfielder on the outside. Coming from one of the team’s captains, that’s unfortunate.

With the Bengals on their way, it’s vacation time.

After the game was canceled against the Bills in Week 17, the league put them at a distinct disadvantage, denying them any opportunity for home-court advantage. It’s sweet revenge for the Tigers.

Damar Hamlin at Highmark Stadium

Safety Damar Hamlin visits his Buffalo Bills teammates before Sunday’s playoff game against the Cincinnati Bengals at Highmark Stadium.

The man who suffered a heart attack on Jan. 2 against the same Bengals was also involved in the duel. The crowd gave him a standing ovation in the first half.

In the first quarter of a game that was eventually stopped, Hamlin fell to the ground after making contact with a wide receiver. He was resuscitated at the center of the field before being taken to the University of Cincinnati Medical Center. A week later, he was transferred to a Buffalo hospital and discharged a few days later.

Bills coach Sean McDermott said this week that Hamlin has begun making regular visits to his team’s facilities.

“He’s trying to get back into a routine and fit in again. He’s taking it step by step, small steps,” McDermott said Wednesday.


Joe Burrow

There are statistics, but above all, disarming calm. In a duel with no future, on the road, in miserable conditions, Burrow was always in control. He never gets over things.

Joe Mixon

The Bengals running back picked the moment well to post his second 100+ yard rushing game this season. With 105 rushing yards and a touchdown, he epitomized his team’s physical dominance.

mike hilton

The Bengals cornerback is both a great defender and an outstanding asset in the blitz, but above all, he doesn’t miss a beat. He was everywhere against the Bills. From beginning to end.

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