Friday, January 27, 2023

Bills and Bengals reunite after victory

Bengals-Bills rematch next week narrowly fails to materialize

In order to advance to the AFC’s divisional round, both teams faced more than necessary to take down weaker opponents on a Sunday dominated against backup quarterbacks.

First, the Bills jumped out to a 17–0 lead against Miami, and then had to find momentum to seal the 34–31 victory. And the Bengals came within one yard of a touchdown in the fourth quarter against the Ravens before Sam Hubbard returned a punt 98 yards for the deciding touchdown, giving Cincinnati a 24–17 victory.

This time, the Bengals would visit Buffalo. They met on January 2 in Cincinnati in a game that was interrupted when Bills safety Dumar Hamlin collapsed in the first quarter and had to be revived on the field. Hamlin is home after making a surprising recovery.

The Bills (14-3) had a tough time against seventh-seeded Miami. The Dolphins turned to their third quarterback, Skylar Thompson. But they went ahead 24–20 in the third quarter when Josh Allen was tackled and Zack Siler scored on a 5-yard return.

But Thompson, a seventh-round draft pick who started for only the third time in his career due to injuries to Tua Tagovailoa and Teddy Bridgewater, was intercepted on 3rd-and-19 from the 8-yard line, setting up a field goal . Bill went back to the front.

“It was a bad call,” lamented Thompson, who completed 18 of 45 passes for 220 yards, one touchdown, and two interceptions.

Allen and the Bills were sluggish and looked fast despite passing for 423 yards. Allen was intercepted twice, in turnovers that ended in 11 points and then suffered a fumble that ended in another touchdown.

“At the end of the day what matters is winning the game,” Allen said. “If it is by one or 100, we are now playing a season in one game. You have to leave everything. You win or you go home.”

The Bills will have to raise their bar a lot to be able to beat the Bengals. Same goes for Cincinnati.

The Bengals (13–4) fell to Baltimore 10–9 after taking a 9–0 lead. They were fortunate not to be down 14–9 at halftime as they had a first down at the Ravens 3-yard line and went for a field goal.

With the score tied at 17 in the fourth quarter, the Ravens went ahead on the Bengals at 1. But Tyler Huntley, coming on as a replacement for the injured Lamar Jackson, fumbled as he tried to cross the goal line.

The Ravens had players behind Huntley pushing him into the end zone, but the three-year-old decided to make the jump.

Ravens coach John Harbaugh said, “We didn’t know how to execute the play well.” Tyler jumped. And we conceived it so that it would slip through the bottom ”.

The Bengals did not generate anything else the rest of the game, punting three times for 19 yards.

In the final minute, Huntley led Baltimore to the Cincinnati 17, but a penalty and incompletion left them on the final play of fourth down and 27 to 20 yards.

“Our defense in the fourth quarter helped us pull through,” said Bengals coach Zach Taylor.

The Bengals would need Joe Burrows and the offense to pick up 234 total yards after passing the Bills.

Both teams will arrive with positive streaks. The Bengals have won nine in a row and the Bills have won eight in a row.

While the Dolphins and Ravens could not grace the coup, Daniel Jones and the New York Giants did manage to ambush the Minnesota Vikings.

Winners of nine games in the regular season, the Giants swept the Vikings 31–24, 13 games in a row. Jones excelled as he threw for 301 yards and two touchdowns in his playoff debut. The Giants will now face the first seeded Philadelphia Eagles in the National Conference.

After Brock Purdy and the San Francisco 49ers crushed Seattle in the opener of the wild-card round, the next four games were decided by one point each.

Nation World News Desk
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