THE Cincinnati Bengals continue to roll by beating their AFC rival Buffalo Bills, 24-18, Sunday night at Paycor Stadium.
The last time these two teams met was on a tragic Monday night in January, when Bills safety Damar Hamlin suffered a cardiac arrest. As expected, it was an emotional return for the No. 3, who was inactive in this match.
When the ball was thrown and thinking turned to focus for everyone on the field, the Bengals quickly got to work.
Joe Burrow was ice cold on the team’s first drive of the game, going 6 of 6 through the air and eventually finding Irv Smith Jr. for a seven-yard touchdown.
The game quickly turned into a shootout as the Bills took over on their first drive.
Josh Allen found the end zone with his feet after rushing 85 yards to tie the Bengals, but Burrow was quick to find the end zone again, this time using Joe Mixon – his trusty running back – on third and goal to regain the lead.
That’s when both attacks started to slow down a bit. Four total punts with an Allen interception mixed in led to no points for either team until Burrow took first place on the field at the Buffalo 45-yard line after the Bills were forced to clear from deep within their zone.
What appeared to be a broken play on third-and-7 from the Buffalo 22-yard line led to a 22-yard catch-and-run by Drew Sample to give the home team a 14-7 lead before the end of half-time.
The second half wasn’t as eventful for either team, with the defense going both ways. The Bengals got a key stop in their own zone to force a field goal to start the third quarter, making it a 21-10 game.
Then, after turning the ball over on downs, the Bengals defense took over the offense by forcing a fumble on “Bills tight end Dalton Kincaid”. He took off on first-and-10 from the Cincinnati 22-yard line, and before he landed, the ball was ripped from his arms and recovered by the Bengals. This eventually led to a basket by Evan McPherson to increase the lead to 24-10.
But for Buffalo, they won’t give up when Allen has the ball and it’s time. The Bills used 4 minutes, 36 seconds in the fourth quarter to finally find star receiver Stefon Diggs in the end zone on a 17-yard strike from Allen.
However, the Bills defense couldn’t get the ball back in their hands. Burrow and his team killed the final three minutes of the fourth quarter, picking up key first downs to seal the victory and four straight wins to improve to 5-3. The Bills now also have the same record.
Burrow had a fantastic game through the air, throwing for 348 yards and two touchdowns on 31-of-44 shooting. His best receiver wasn’t Ja’Marr Chase, who had four catches for 41 yards, but rather Tee Higgins, who completed eight of his nine targets for 110 yards.
For the Bills, Diggs led the way with 86 yards on six catches while Kincaid finished with 10 catches for 81 yards.
The Bengals will look to extend that winning streak to five straight games next Sunday when they host the Houston Texans. Meanwhile, the Bills will be in prime time again next week at home against the Denver Broncos.