AP

Disrespected no more, Bengals prepare to face Chiefs again

Jan 23, 2023, 12:31 AM | Updated: 2:33 pm

Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Ja'Marr Chase (1) and Cincinnati Bengals running back Joe Mixon (2...

Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Ja'Marr Chase (1) and Cincinnati Bengals running back Joe Mixon (28) motion for a touchdown against the Buffalo Bills during the third quarter of an NFL division round football game, Sunday, Jan. 22, 2023, in Orchard Park, N.Y. (AP Photo/Joshua Bessex)

(AP Photo/Joshua Bessex)

CINCINNATI (AP) — The Cincinnati Bengals went into Buffalo feeling disrespected and played their most complete game of the season.

With tickets on sale last week for a potential neutral-site Buffalo-Kansas City AFC championship game, the Bengals came into a snowstorm and dominated the second-seeded Bills.

Cincinnati’s 27-10 win — its 10th in a row — sets up a rematch with Patrick Mahomes and the top-seeded Chiefs in the AFC championship game Sunday.

The Bengals are peaking in the playoffs again, and nobody is more confident than quarterback Joe Burrow, who said this team is better this last year’s. That squad won 27-24 in overtime at Kansas City to advance to the Super Bowl, where it lost 23-20 to the Los Angeles Rams.

“We’re a more complete team and a better team,” Burrow said. “We just seem to make plays when it counts.”

With three backups playing on the offensive line against Buffalo, it was hard to predict how efficiently the Bengals’ offense could operate.

It couldn’t have gone much better.

Burrow completed 23 of 36 passes for 242 yards and two touchdowns. He had zero turnovers and was sacked just once. He completed passes to eight different receivers.

“Unbelievable,” running back Joe Mixon said. “To come through in the snow and deliver dots the way he was doing it, that’s crazy. I’m going to be honest, that’s crazy. I’ve never seen anything like it, to be real.”

Mixon had a big game, too — a welcome development considering the Bengals’ running game had stalled in recent weeks. He rushed for 105 yards, averaging 5.3 per carry, and a touchdown. It was Mixon’s first 100-yard game since Nov. 6 and only his second this season.

WHAT’S WORKING

Just about everything on Sunday. Cincinnati was balanced on offense, picking up 30 first downs, converting 6 of 10 third downs and finishing with 412 total yards — including 172 on the ground, its most since Nov. 6.

The defense limited Buffalo to 63 rushing yards and kept constant pressure on quarterback Josh Allen, who was hit eight times and sacked once. The Bills’ top receiver, Stefon Diggs, finished with four catches for 35 yards.

WHAT NEEDS HELP

As far as the Bengals are concerned, the NFL’s decision-making process could use some work. The league began selling tickets for a possible game in Atlanta that was dependent on the Bills and Chiefs winning last weekend. The NFL had decided on the first-of-its-kind, neutral-site conference championship because the Bills (13-3) finished the season a half-game behind the Chiefs (14-3) after their game at Cincinnati was canceled on Jan. 2 when Bills safety Damar Hamlin went into cardiac arrest and had to be resuscitated on the field. The Bengals felt disrespected by that plan and were determined to ruin it.

“They keep talking us down, and we’ll keep showing up,” receiver Ja’Marr Chase said.

STOCK UP

Jackson Carman had not played tackle for the Bengals since he was drafted in 2021. Carman was pushed into service at left tackle after Jonah Williams dislocated a kneecap in the wild card-round playoff win over Baltimore. Backups Hakeem Adeniji and Max Scharping were already starting on the right side because of injuries. The O-line has hardly looked better than it did Sunday, when it dominated Buffalo’s defensive front on a snowy field.

STOCK DOWN

WR Tyler Boyd had just one catch for 23 yards.

INJURIES

C Ted Karras suffered a knee injury during Sunday’s game but played through it. He said he’ll be OK for the AFC championship game. … Williams and G Alex Cappa (ankle) were considered week to week.

KEY NUMBER

5 — Number of career postseason wins for Burrow, the most for any Bengals quarterback.

NEXT STEPS

Beat Mahomes and the Chiefs on Sunday for the fourth time in the span of about 13 months to earn a second consecutive trip to the Super Bowl. Mahomes suffered a high ankle sprain on Sunday that could limit his mobility.

“I hope that (Mahomes) is healthy,” Cincinnati safety Jessie Bates III said. “I hope that he is 100 percent healthy so there is no excuses. We’ll be ready.”

___

AP NFL: https://apnews.com/hub/nfl and https://twitter.com/AP_NFL

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

Associated Press

Ex-Packer Guion gets 1 year for domestic violence assault

GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) — Former Green Bay Packers defensive tackle Letroy Guion was sentenced to one year in jail after pleading no contest in a domestic violence assault at his home last fall. Brown County Circuit Court Judge Thomas Walsh also ordered Guion on Tuesday to serve three years’ probation and complete a domestic […]

1 year ago

Joe Jarzynka...

Associated Press

Durant eager for Suns debut vs. Hornets after knee injury

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Kevin Durant has been through quite a bit during his 15-year NBA career — but joining a new team midway through the season is a new one for the 13-time All-Star. The 34-year-old Durant doesn’t seem all that worried. Durant makes his highly anticipated Phoenix Suns debut on Wednesday night against […]

1 year ago

FILE - Miami Dolphins head coach Brian Flores stands on the sideline during the second half of an N...

Associated Press

Judge: NFL coach can press discrimination claims in court

NEW YORK (AP) — NFL Coach Brian Flores can pursue some of his discrimination claims against the league and its teams in court rather than through arbitration, a judge ruled Wednesday. The written decision by Judge Valerie Caproni in Manhattan was issued months after lawyers for the league tried to get the lawsuit moved to […]

1 year ago

Chicago Blackhawks goaltender Alex Stalock cools off in the first period during an NHL hockey game ...

Associated Press

Kane trade reinforces hard reality of Blackhawks rebuild

CHICAGO (AP) — After days of speculation, the harsh reality of the Chicago Blackhawks’ situation was reinforced by one move in a flurry of transactions ahead of the NHL trade deadline. Showtime is over, at least in Chicago, and a seemingly bright future is, well, way off in the distance. The reverberations of Chicago’s decision […]

1 year ago

FILE -  Yves Jean-Bart, president of the Haitian Football Federation, wearing a protective face mas...

Associated Press

Disgraced ex-Haitian soccer president announces he’s back

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AP) — Haiti’s former soccer federation president whose lifetime ban from sport over sexual abuse allegations was overturned last month announced Wednesday that he is reclaiming his position. Yves Jean-Bart’s defiant announcement could lead to a standoff with FIFA, which already has appointed an emergency management committee to lead the Haitian Football Association […]

1 year ago

FILE - Green Bay Packers' Aaron Rodgers walks off the field after an NFL football game against the ...

Associated Press

Rodgers says decision on future will come ‘soon enough’

GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) — Aaron Rodgers says he will make a decision on his future “soon enough” as the four-time MVP quarterback ponders whether to play next season and if his future remains with the Green Bay Packers. Rodgers, 39, discussed his future while speaking on an episode of the “Aubrey Marcus Podcast” that […]

1 year ago

Disrespected no more, Bengals prepare to face Chiefs again