Bengals 27 Bills 10
Please alert the NFL and neutral site ticket holders that the Bengals are party crashing the AFC Championship game.
The Bengals offensive rose up, flexed their collective muscles and answered a lot of doubters. The Bengals defense did what they do. And there's your complete game, as the Bengals beat the Bills 27-10 Sunday in a snow-globe game at Hallmark Stadium.
If you didn't get a chance to watch, understand this: It was complete and total domination over the 60 minute complete game everyone had asked for.
Make it 10 straight wins and make it a return appearance in the AFC Championship, next Sunday at 6:30 vs the Chiefs.
Fast start: The Bengals bolted to a 14-0 lead after two possessions. The Bills got as close as 14-7. But the Bengals led 17-7 at the half and then outscored the Bills 10-3 in the 2nd half.
Big sequence: Leading 17-7 late in the 3rd quarter, the Bengals defense forced a Bills red zone FG (17-10). The Bengals offense then matriculated down the field and capped a 12 play/75 yard drive with Joe Mixon 1-yard rush for a red zone TD and a 24-10 lead.
OL, oh hell yea! What a job by the new look OL. They dominated the Bills at the line of scrimmage, gashing them for 173 yards on 32 rush attempts (5.4). The Bills entered the game allowing 104.6 rushing yards. Only one sack and only two false starts, despite the environment. No three and outs. They drove at least 6 plays on each of their 8 drives, prior to taking a knee. Jackson Carman more than held his own in his first NFL start at left tackle. They set the tone early with 13 carries for 90 yards (6.9) in the first half. Joe Mixon ran hard, free and easy 20-105 (5.3) including 9 carries for 55 (6.1) in the first half. Semaje Perine 7-33 (4.7). CBS indicated Ted Karras tweaked his knee in the first half, but he gutted it out with brace.
Picking up where they left off: They led 14-0 after the 1st quarter. They rolled 6 plays, 79 yards in 3:20 on the opening drive with a Joe Burrow 28-yard TD to Ja'Marr Chase. They drove 10 plays, 72 yards in 6:15 for a second drive TD...Burrow 15-yards to Hayden Hurst. 1st quarter: 10-0 first downs....22-7 plays..160 to 18 yards. 1st half: 41 plays/275 yards vs 54 plays/234 yards for game vs Ravens last week.
Burrow: 23 of 36, 242 yards, 2 TD, 0 INT, 1 sack, QB rating 101.9. He started 9 of 9, 105, 2 TD. He connected with 8 different receivers in the first half. He used his legs, 6-31.
What's a catch?: Chase made a leaping back of the end zone catch on 3rd and goal at the 10 for a TD with 1:49 left in the half. But it was overturned on replay review (explanation: didn't complete the act of the catch). They settled for a 28-yard FG by Evan McPherson....17-7 at the half.
Hurdlin' Hurst: He went up and over a would be tackler to convert at 3rd and 10 with a 12 yard catch!
Catches: Chase 5-61, Hurst 5-49, Perine 5-31, Higgins 3-28, Boyd 1-23.
Lock down: The defense forced back-to-back three and outs to start and allowed just eight yards in the opening quarter. They got a big hold and forced a final drive of the half punt, with the Bills getting the ball back to start the 3rd quarter. The Bills went 14 plays to open the 3rd quarter, but were forced to settle for a 25-yard FG. Total yards: 325. Allen threw a pick and had a QB rating of 68.1. The fewest points scored by the Bills in 25 games...December 2021.
Red zone zero! Trailing 27-10 with 7:30 left, Eli Apple batted down a 4th and 6 pass to the end zone from the Bengals 16 yard line.
Pastry time: Josh Allen, who led the NFL with 22 turnovers, finally turned it over when Cam Taylor-Britt picked him off to end things.
Marching: The Bills went on a 15 play/75 yard/7:25 drive to cut the lead to 14-7 early in the 2nd quarter.
Streaking: 12 straight games without allowing a 1st quarter TD.
Impact: BJ Hill relentlessly chased Josh Allen all day, and batted down a pass.
PBU by CTB: The rookie had a big 3rd and 2 pass break up early 4th quarter forced a punt. He capped things with an interception late.
Stick 'em! Mike Hilton was hitting, wrappin' and takin' down.
Yikes: Drue Chrisman's first punt was 28 yards, but his second went for 45.
Evan McPherson 28 and 20 yard FG.
Red zone showdown: Bengals No. 5 red zone O vs Bills No. 2 red zone D and No. 9 Bills 0 vs Bengals No. 9 D: Bengals: TD, FG, TD, FG. Bills: TD, FG, 0.
Perspective: The Bengals won five postseason games in the 52 seasons prior to the arrival of Burrow. They have won five postseason games in the last two years.
Fiiiiiiirst down! The 30 first downs are a postseason record for the Bengals.
Burrow passed Ken Anderson for the most career postseason passing yards in franchise history.
Scoring first: Bengals 10-0 when scoring 1st this year.
They'll take it: The Bengals got the ball first for the 15th time in the last 16 games, dating back to Week 3.
Per ESPN: It's the first time the Bengals have ever led by 10+ in a road playoff game in franchise history.