QUARTERBACK Joe Burrow overcame driving snow and a hostile road environment, leading the Cincinnati Bengals past the favored Buffalo Bills 27-10 and reaching the American Football Conference (AFC) Championship game for the second straight year.
Mr. Burrow guided the Bengals to 412 yards of total offense, 30 first downs and zero turnovers behind a commanding performance from the offensive line.
“Complete game from everybody — offense, defense and special teams,” said Mr. Burrow, who threw for 242 yards and two touchdowns. “Domination from start to finish. That’s what we expected.”
On the other side of the ball, the Bengals’ defense made life difficult for Josh Allen and the Bills offense, who converted just 5 of 12 third downs and never found a rhythm. “But the job’s not finished,” Mr. Burrow said. “We have another big one on the road next week. Excited for it.”
The Bengals will return next Sunday to Kansas City for a rematch of last year’s AFC Championship game against the Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs, which the Bengals won 27-24 in an overtime thriller.
Had the Bills prevailed on Sunday, the AFC Championship game would have been played at the neutral site of Atlanta, and the Bengals took great motivation from the fact that tickets were already being sold for a potential Bills-Chiefs matchup.
“You better get those refunds,” Mr. Burrow said with a grin.
Cincinnati running back Joe Mixon praised his quarterback for living up to his nickname of Joe Cool in Sunday’s pressure-packed game.
“Joe Burrow was unbelievable,” Mr. Mixon said.
“In games like this he always rises to the occasion and so do our teammates. Under the brightest lights, we shine even brighter,” he said.
A predicted a “great show” next week with a trip to the Feb. 12th Super Bowl in Glendale, Arizona on the line.
“Everybody ready for the Mahomes and Burrow show and I guarantee you it’s going to be a dog fight out there,” he said. — Reuters