Sports
USA | Jan 23, 2023

‘Joe Cool’ delivers as Bengals plow Bills to reach AFC Championship game

/ Our Today

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Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow (9) waits for the next play call between plays in the second quarter during an NFL divisional playoff football game between the Cincinnati Bengals and the Buffalo Bills during an AFC divisional round game at Highmark Stadium. (Photo: Kareem Elgazzar-USA TODAY Sports)

(Reuters)

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 AFC Championship game for the second straight year.

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 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,” Burrow said. “We have another big one on the road next week. Excited for it.”

Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow (9) prepares for the snap against the Buffalo Bills during the third quarter of an AFC divisional round game at Highmark Stadium. (Photo: Gregory Fisher-USA TODAY Sports)

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,” 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.

Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow (9) listens to a play call as he joins the huddle before a play in the fourth quarter during an AFC divisional round game at Highmark Stadium. (Photo: Kareem Elgazzar-USA TODAY Sports)

“Joe Burrow was unbelievable,” 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.

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