Bengals blow out Bills in AFC playoffs


BUFFALO, N.Y. — The Cincinnati Bengals knocked off the No. 2-seeded Buffalo Bills 27-10 on Sunday in snowy Orchard Park.

The win sends the Bengals (14-4) to the AFC Championship Game against top-seeded Kansas City at Arrowhead Stadium next Sunday.

“We came into their home field, they put up 10 freaking points and we got 27,” said Bengals defensive lineman D.J. Reader. “And we’re on to KC and that’s all that matters. You can’t count us out, you can count around. Bengals ain’t this — Bengals ain’t that. We just keep chopping and keep playing on Sunday.”

Cincinnati quarterback Joe Burrow set the tone on the opening drive.

In near blizzard-like conditions, the Bengals offense took only six plays to go 79 yards.

The drive featured four Burrow passes — including a 23-yard connection to Tyler Boyd and a 28-yard TD pass to Ja’Marr Chase for the 7-0 lead.

“Snow doesn’t affect the ball too much,” said Burrow, who finished the game with 242 yards passing and completed 23 of 36 attempts with two TDs. “It might get a little wet, but it’s not rain or wind or anything like that. We’re confident in just about any weather that there is.”

Burrow also had a passer rating of 101.8 with no turnovers.

“He’s the best,” Bengals coach Zac Taylor said about his QB. “His confidence makes everyone else play better.”

On the next Cincinnati drive, it took Burrow 10 plays to lead his team down the field — and ended with a Hayden Hurst 15-yard touchdown strike for the 14-0 lead with 3:37 to go in the first quarter.

“Our guys just believed,” Taylor added. “We beat a good football team in tough conditions today.”

Taylor is now 3-0 in AFC road games, while the Bills suffered only their second home playoff loss in franchise history.

“This really felt good today,” Hurst said. “To come in here when no one gave us a chance to win and advance really feels good.”

The Bengals defense stifled Buffalo quarterback Josh Allen to 325 yards passing and applied pressure on him most of the game.

“That was what we wanted to do — to attack,” Bengals cornerback Mike Hilton said.

Cincinnati came into Highmark Stadium the underdogs, which motivated the Who Dey defense to play nearly perfect ball.

“We came to get it done today,” Bengals linebacker Logan Wilson said. “A lot of people counted us out, but we know what we can do, and we got it done.”

The Bills (14-4) didn’t earn a first down until a minute into the second quarter, and managed to cut the Bengals’ lead to 14-7 with 7:25 to go in the first half.

Cincinnati kicker Evan McPherson nailed a 28-yard field goal with 1:49 left in the second quarter, boosting the lead to 17-7 at the intermission.

On the ground, the Bengals dominated and piled up a total of 172 yards, led by Joe Mixon’s 105 yards on 20 carries.

“To run like we did in this environment, to handle the noise and protect Joe (Burrow) the way they did, I thought our offensive line was outstanding,” Taylor said. “We’re built for this.”

Buffalo managed a field goal with 7:42 to play in the third to cut the lead to 17-10.

But the Bengals added another TD — when Mixon capped off a 12-play, 75-yard drive with a one-yard plunge with 1:17 left in the third for the 24-10 lead.

McPherson made the score 27-10 when he booted a 20-yard field goal with 11:22 to play in the game.

“This might be our most complete game of the season,” Burrow said. “Our line was great and my receives ran perfect routes and made great plays.”

Chase had 61 yards on five catches and a touchdown, while Hurst had five catches for 59 yards and a touchdown, and Samaje Perine hauled in five passes for 31 yards.

Cincinnati will face Kansas City (14-3) with a trip to the Super Bowl on the line.

Kickoff is set for 6:30 p.m.

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