ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (AP) — Joe Burrow threw two touchdown passes, Cincinnati’s defense swarmed Buffalo quarterback Josh Allen on a snow-slicked field and the Bengals advanced to their second straight AFC championship game with a 27-10 win over the Bills on Sunday.
Damar Hamlin’s inspirational presence while watching the game from an end-zone suite was not enough to spark the Bills in a rematch of a regular-season game that was canceled on Jan. 2 when the Bills safety went into cardiac arrest and had to be resuscitated on the field in Cincinnati.
Instead, it was “Joe Cool” showing poise while playing in a persistent snowfall.
Burrow completed his first nine passes for 105 yards in leading Cincinnati to a 14-0 lead after its first two possessions. Ja’Marr Chase opened the scoring with a 28-yard TD catch 3:20 into the game, followed by Burrow’s 15-yard TD throw to Hayden Hurst eight minutes later.
Joe Mixon scored on a 1-yard run, and Evan McPherson hit field goals from 20 and 28 yards in a game the Bengals never trailed.
The Bengals advanced to consecutive AFC championship games for the first time in franchise history, and will again travel to play the Kansas City Chiefs. The Bengals beat the Chiefs 27-24 to advance to last year’s Super Bowl, which they lost to the Los Angeles Rams.
The Bengals have won the past three meetings against Kansas City, including a 27-24 victory last month. The Chiefs are making their fifth straight appearance in the AFC championship game following a 27-20 win over Jacksonville on Saturday.
The Bills’ playoff run ended in the divisional round for a second straight season, including a 42-36 overtime loss to Kansas City last year.
Had Buffalo defeated Cincinnati, the AFC championship would have been held at Atlanta next weekend because the Bills (13-3) finished the season a half-game behind the Chiefs (14-3) after their game against Cincinnati was canceled.
Bengals: Travel to Kansas City to face the Chiefs next Sunday in a rematch of last year’s AFC championship game.
Cam Taylor-Britt sealed the win with an interception late in the 4th quarter.
Even McPherson added three points with a 20-yard field goal to start the 4th quarter scoring and make it 27-10.
The Bengals hold a 24-10 lead over the Bills heading into the 4th quarter of the AFC Divisional playoff game in Buffalo.
Cincinnati’s offense responded near the end of the third quarter as Joe Mixon rushed it up the middle for the touchdown to give Cincinnati the 24-10 lead.
The Bills started the scoring in the third quarter with a 25-yard field goal to come within 7 points.
After another Ja’Marr Chase TD was overturned, Evan McPherson kicked a 28-yard field goal to make it 17-7 before half.
The Bills punched in their first points of the game on a goal-line rushing touchdown from QB Josh Allen in the second quarter.
Cincinnati followed it up with another passing score from Burrow to Hayden Hurst to give the Bengals a 14-0 advantage in the first quarter.
On the opening drive of the game, Joe Burrow and the offense went 6 plays for 79 yards and capped it off with a touchdown strike to Ja’Marr Chase.
The Cincinnati Bengals got out to a quick start in the snowy AFC divisional game in Buffalo.
The Cincinnati Bengals are one win away from returning to the AFC championship game but first have to face one of their toughest tests yet.
Cincinnati will play at the Buffalo Bills at 3 p.m. Sunday in an AFC divisional-round playoff game that many think could be the closest of the weekend.
The Bengals are coming off a 24-17 opening-round win over the Baltimore Ravens, with the win spearheaded by Sam Hubbard, a former Ohio State defensive end, returning a fumble 98 yards for a touchdown.
While the offense has had a tough time scoring in consecutive games against Baltimore, quarterback Joe Burrow and company should feel more confident against a Bills defense gave up 31 points to a Miami team playing a rookie quarterback.
Joe Mixon and the Cincinnati Bengals feel disrespected entering their AFC divisional round playoff game at Buffalo on Sunday.
Josh Allen and the Bills feel driven in having overcome a long string of adversity this season.
The teams meet three weeks after their regular-season game was canceled after Bills safety Damar Hamlin went into cardiac arrest and needed to be resuscitated on the field in Cincinnati.
The Bengals have won a franchise-record nine straight games with their last loss coming on Halloween. The Bills have won eight in a row.