Joe Burrow dominated the game against the Buffalo Bills for the Cincinnati Bengals as they defeated Josh Allen and friends away on the road. The 27-10 victory means that the Bengals will play a rematch against the Kansas City Chiefs in the AFC Championship game. Like last season, they will be traveling to Arrowhead Stadium hoping to retain the Lamar Hunt Trophy.
Before the game, there was always the possibility that the Bills would have made it to the AFC Championship Game instead. The Kansas City Chiefs finished 14-3 and the Buffalo Bills were 13-3 at the end of the regular season. Both had the same amount of losses, but the Bills could not match the win percentage of the Chiefs because they played one game less, which was suspended due to Damar Hamlin’s cardiac arrest. So, for the purpose of the AFC Championship game against the Chiefs, if the Bills had made it, the venue would have been the neutral city of Atlanta.
Not only was that determined by commissioner Roger Goodell’s office, the NFL went ahead and sold tickets for the game even before this Divisional Round game was over. This, of course, upset Bengals players and staff. Joe Burrow made his feelings clear after winning the game when he told the league,
“Better send those refunds.”
Joe Burrow not the only Bengal with a chip on his shoulder
The Bengals voluntarily decided to halt the game when Damar Hamlin collapsed as they battled the Buffalo Bills in the regular season. Since then, they have felt that their decision has been misused by the NFL. Apart from Joe Burrow, coach Zac Taylor also sarcastically apologized to the league for messing up their plans.
The Bengals felt hard done by when they were asked to take part in a coin toss if they lost to the Baltimore Ravens in their final regular season game. That would have determined the home team for the game despite Cincinnati winning the NFC North. That was because they played one game less, which they could have theoritically lost. They defeated the Ravens anyway and took care of that business.
Had the suspended regular-season game against the Buffalo Bills resumed, as they had expected it to, Cincinnati could have defeated Buffalo there as they were leading 7-3 when it was called off. That would have given Joe Burrow and company home-field advantage today, but they went on the road today and took care of that anyhow. And with that, they have also ensured that the NFL will not have to bother with a neutral venue at all.