Mon, 30 Jan 2023

Bengals skate past Bills to reach another AFC title game

Field Level Media
23 Jan 2023, 09:40 GMT+10

Joe Burrow passed for 242 yards and two touchdowns and the Cincinnati Bengals rolled to a 27-10 victory over the Buffalo Bills on Sunday at Orchard Park, N.Y., to return to the AFC Championship Game for the second straight season.

Joe Mixon rushed for 105 yards and one touchdown in the divisionalround contest as third-seeded Cincinnati recorded its 10th straight victory. Ja'Marr Chase and Hayden Hurst had scoring receptions for the Bengals, who prevailed during game-long snowy conditions.

Josh Allen was 25-of-42 passing for 265 yards and one interception and also rushed for a touchdown for second-seeded Buffalo. Stefon Diggs had just 35 yards on four catches and the Bills were outgained 412 to 325 while seeing their eight-game winning streak come to an end.

The Bengals will visit the top-seeded Kansas City Chiefs next Sunday in a rematch of last season's AFC title game. The Bengals won that contest 27-24 in overtime.

Burrow completed 23 of 36 passes while increasing his franchise record for playoff victories to five. Cincinnati racked up 30 first downs.

Bills safety Damar Hamlin, who went into cardiac arrest 20 days earlier when these teams met in Cincinnati, attended the contest.

The Bengals led 24-10 after Mixon scored from the 1-yard line with 1:17 left in the third quarter. Mixon was initially ruled short of the goal line but Cincinnati challenged the result and the call was overturned by the replay review.

Cincinnati's Evan McPherson made it a three-possession game with a 20-yard field goal with 11:22 left in the contest.

The Bills came up empty on their next drive when Allen's fourth-and-6 pass from the Bengals' 16 fell incomplete with 7:23 remaining. Allen was later picked off by Cam Taylor-Britt with 1:02 left.

Cincinnati had 18 first downs and outgained the Bills 274-135 in the first half to take a 17-7 lead at the break.

Burrow connected with Chase on a 28-yard touchdown pass on the game-opening drive and followed with a 15-yard scoring pass to Hurst on the second drive to make it 14-0 with 3:47 left in the first quarter.

Cincinnati 10 first downs in the opening period and Buffalo was outgained 160-8 without gaining a first down. But the Bills put together a 15-play, 75-yard drive in the second quarter with Allen scoring on a 1-yard sneak with 7:25 left in the half.

Burrow and Chase nearly teamed up for a 10-yard scoring pass late in the second quarter but a replay review displayed that Chase didn't have possession of the ball while in the end zone. McPherson entered to kick a 28-yard field goal with 1:49 remaining.

Buffalo began the third quarter with a drive that took 7:18 but settled for Tyler Bass' 25-yard field goal to trail 17-10.

--Field Level Media

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