ORCHARD PARK — Joe Burrow and the Bengals travel to the AFC Championship Game.
Cincinnati never fell behind in Sunday’s 27-10 win over Buffalo. They started fast and never let up despite playing in freezing temperatures and snow against a Bills team that loves the cold.
Burrow improves to 5-1 in the postseason. The Bills lost a playoff game at Highmark Stadium for the second time in club history. Here are our post-game observations:
Cincinnati got off to a fast start and never looked back.
Burrow was without light and completed 23 of 36 passes for 242 yards and two touchdowns. He also ran for 32 yards.
Joe Mixon rushed for 105 yards and a score. That’s the most yards he’s rushed since rushing for 96 yards in Cincinnati’s Week 14 win over Cleveland.
The star running back ran with power, was crucial and is a major reason they dominated on Sunday.
Burrow completed passes to eight different players. Ja’Marr Chase led with five receptions for 61 yards and a touchdown. Hayden Hurst was not far behind with five catches for 59 yards and a score.
Offensive line strengthens
There was a lot of talk about the Bengals offensive line coming into this game, but Jackson Carman, Max Scharping and the rest of the unit played well.
They opened up careers for Mixon, gave Burrow time to operate and played as a competent unit despite never starting a game together.
Burrow was only sacked once, using his legs and getting the ball out quickly.
Playoff P postgame vibes come true
“We didn’t come here not to kick anyone, we came here to dominate!” said Germaine Pratt in the tunnel before the Bengals took the field on Sunday.
The Bengals dominated from start to finish and head to Kansas City for a second straight season with an AFC championship at stake.
Pratt and the rest of the Bengals’ defense kept Josh Allen at bay throughout the game. The Bills had just 10 points after three quarters.
Bengals kicker Evan McPherson has had his troubles this season but he played great despite kicking in poor weather on Sunday.
McPherson was 3-3 with extra points and made his two field goal attempts in the snow. He was responsible for nine points for the Bengals and helped them extend their lead.
The Bengals took a 14-0 lead in the first quarter by scoring touchdowns on their first two possessions.
Burrow led the Bengals on two long drives to start the game. They rushed for 79 yards in six games and took a 7-0 lead when Burrow found Ja’Marr Chase for a 28-yard touchdown.
They stayed hot on their second possession, rushing for 72 yards in 10 games and scoring another touchdown when Burrow found Hayden Hurst for a 15-yard score.
Burrow completed his first nine passes for 105 yards and two touchdowns.
Dominant first half
The Bengals overplayed the bills in the first half. Not only did they have a 17-7 lead, they also had more yards (274-135) and first downs (18-8).
Cincinnati’s offense may have struggled against the Ravens in recent weeks, but they fired on all guns Sunday.
Officials ruled that a 10-yard touchdown pass would have been incomplete for Chase, with 1:55 remaining in the first half.
Instead of taking a 21-7 lead, Cincinnati had to settle for a field goal from Evan McPherson and a 17-7 lead. It was initially counted as a touchdown, but they overturned the call after a stand check.
The Bengals will play the Chiefs in the AFC Championship at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City for the second straight season.
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