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What the Bengals’ and Bills’ Wins Mean for the Divisional Round

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What the Bengals’ and Bills’ Wins Mean for the Divisional Round

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The Cincinnati Bengals beat the Las Vegas Raiders for the second time this season, 26-19, and the Buffalo Bills rolled over the New England Patriots, 47-17, as better-seeded groups held on to advance to the divisional spherical of the N.F.L. playoffs.

Saturday’s outcomes resolved a lot of the A.F.C.’s playoff bracket, with solely No. 2-seed Kansas City left to play the No. 7-seeded Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday to find out subsequent week’s matchups.

The No. 4-seeded Bengals’ win probably implies that Cincinnati will journey to face the top-seeded Tennessee Titans subsequent weekend, whereas the No. 3-seeded Bills may face Kansas City in a rematch of final season’s A.F.C. championship recreation, which the Chiefs gained. But these pairings rely upon Kansas City dispatching the Steelers, who, in the occasion of an upset on Sunday, would get the Titans (and presumably Derrick Henry) in the subsequent spherical, leaving the Bills and Bengals to scrap it out.

Bills quarterback Josh Allen had a near-perfect recreation, throwing for 308 yards and 5 touchdowns, and operating for 66 yards to maintain the Patriots on their heels from the begin.

Entering Saturday evening having gained 4 of their final 5 common season video games, the Bills stored the momentum going, scoring on all 4 of their possessions in the first half to construct a 27-Three lead in entrance of the dwelling crowd at Highmark Stadium.

They didn’t let up in the second half, sending the already amped up crowd right into a tizzy regardless of a temperature of seven levels at kickoff, the second coldest Bills dwelling recreation ever.

Though favored, Buffalo dominated each section of the recreation, toying with Patriots at each flip in an A.F.C. East rematch that reaffirmed the division’s hierarchy.

New England’s protection had allowed solely 17.eight factors per recreation, the second lowest whole in the league (behind Buffalo’s 17.0), nevertheless it couldn’t hinder the Bills’ offense, which transformed six of seven third-down makes an attempt, posted its highest scoring whole of the season and noticed Allen full all however 4 of his move makes an attempt.

The Patriots’ rookie quarterback, Mac Jones, who overachieved for a lot of the season, appeared outclassed for most of the recreation, ending with 24 of 38 passing with two interceptions. His two landing passes got here late, and the Bills’ victory was by no means unsure after the midpoint of the third quarter.

Allen rested late in the fourth as Mitch Trubisky was allowed to play in the Bills’ ultimate sequence.

After twenty years of dominance by the Patriots, the Bills made it look nearly too simple. But the crowd, so used to seeing Bill Belichick-led groups vanquish their Bills, danced and sang and stomped till the ultimate whistle. They cheered, “Hey, hey, goodbye” as the ultimate seconds ticked off the clock.

A big majority of gamers on each of those groups had by no means performed in a playoff recreation, however one aspect received a worthwhile little bit of preparation for its postseason run.

The Bengals’ 26-19 win over the Raiders at Paul Brown Stadium on Saturday, the franchise’s first playoff victory in 31 years, may show to be worthwhile expertise when Cincinnati hits the highway subsequent week in the Divisional Round.

The Raiders, a franchise which hadn’t made the postseason since 2016 and final gained a playoff recreation in 2002, suffered from a scarcity of relaxation and preparation that confirmed.

Quarterback Joe Burrow led the Bengals’ high-powered offense on scoring drives of their 4 possessions in the first half, connecting for touchdowns with receiver Tyler Boyd and tight finish C.J. Uzomah. The Bengals had extra bother transferring the ball in the second half, and had been slowed by no less than one penalty not known as towards the Raiders.

But Burrow, who completed with 244 yards on 24 of 34 passing and no interceptions, offered simply sufficient offense to counter the Raiders, who moved the ball significantly better in the second half because of large performs by quarterback Derek Carr, operating again Josh Jacobs, and a number of important penalties on the Bengals. The Bengals protection held off Carr and the Raiders, who mounted a feverish tried comeback, down 26-16, in the fourth quarter with no timeouts and lower than two minutes to play.

Carr stored the recreation shut, hitting DeSean Jackson on a move to transform on fourth-and-5 from the Raiders’ 44-yard line. The Raiders kicked a area aim on the drive with lower than 4 minutes remaining to slim their deficit to 26-19.

The Bengals drained greater than two minutes off the clock on the ensuing possession, however couldn’t rating. The rookie receiver Ja’Marr Chase completed with 9 catches for 116 yards.

The Raiders received the ball again on their very own 35-yard line with 1:51 remaining. Carr hit Jacobs for a 15-yard achieve and the Bengals had been charged with a roughing-the-passer penalty, bringing the Raiders previous midfield. Without any time outs, Las Vegas had little margin for error and the weight of Cincinnati’s previous playoff failures heightened the drama.

But on fourth-and-goal from the Bengals’ 9-yard line, Carr was intercepted, ending the Raiders’ topsy-turvy season, and sealing the long-awaited playoff win for Cincinnati.

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