CINCINNATI (AP) — The Cincinnati Bengals confirmed a nationwide TV viewers on Sunday evening they’re nonetheless severe AFC playoff contenders.
The Bengals have been all however counted out after beginning the season with two losses and falling to 1-3 on Oct. 1. However 4 straight wins have pulled them again up and into the dialog.
The most recent was a 24-18 victory over the Buffalo Payments in a rematch of a divisional playoff recreation from final season.
“We went out and proved to the world we’re again and we’re right here,” mentioned Cincinnati receiver Tee Higgins, who had eight catches for a season-high 110 yards.
Joe Burrow threw for a season-high 348 yards and two touchdowns, and Cincinnati’s protection pressured two turnovers and held off the Payments.
“We’re coming alongside,” Burrow mentioned. “We’ve performed effectively the final couple of weeks and we now have to maintain it going.”
Cincinnati (5-3) is locked in a tie with Cleveland and Pittsburgh, all of them chasing the division-leading Ravens (7-2) within the AFC North. The Bengals nonetheless should play the Steelers twice and have rematches with the Browns and Ravens on the schedule.
Burrow, who was nonetheless fighting a calf harm early within the season, was 31 for 44 whereas finishing passes to eight receivers, with tight ends Irv Smith Jr. and Drew Pattern making the landing grabs.
In the meantime, Cincinnati stored Josh Allen and the Payments (5-4) enjoying from behind all through.
Cam Taylor-Britt intercepted Allen to close down a drive within the second quarter. Nick Scott upended Buffalo tight finish Dalton Kincaid and recovered the fumble on Cincinnati’s 13-yard line within the third quarter.
The next Bengals drive ate up 5:20 and a 20-yard subject purpose by Evan McPherson prolonged Cincinnati’s result in 24-10.
Allen threw a 17-yard landing move to Stefon Diggs and the 2 related on a 2-point conversion move to chop the result in 24-18 with 3 1/2 minutes left, however the Bengals obtained two first downs and ran out the clock to seal it.
“Too inconsistent total,” Buffalo coach Sean McDermott mentioned. “I assumed we obtained off to a very good begin in our rhythm. After that it was robust sledding.”
Allen had a decent evening, going 26 for 38 and 258 yards, however he additionally threw an interception for the fifth straight recreation. Diggs had six catches for 86 yards.
Burrow was 6 for six for 65 yards on a methodical opening drive that he completed off with a 7-yard move to Smith, who obtained his first landing catch of the season.
The Payments answered with a fast scoring drive, highlighted by a 34-yard catch-and-run by Diggs and capped by Allen’s 2-yard TD run.
Aided by a roughing the passer name on the Payments’ Tim Settle, Burrow put collectively one other prolonged drive. Joe Mixon barreled in from Buffalo’s 2-yard line to complete it.
Burrow tossed a bubble display screen to Pattern, who ran for a 22-yard landing and gave the Bengals a 21-7 lead on the half.
“Getting up by two scores was large,” Bengals coach Zac Taylor mentioned. “I additionally was pleased with the offense on the ultimate drive. We take delight in ending with the ball.”
In his postgame information convention, Burrow did his finest to mood expectations.
“We have been 1-0 this week. We have now to be 1-0 subsequent week, too,” he mentioned. “That is solely recreation (No.) 8. We’ve obtained 9 video games left.”
The final time the Payments performed at Paycor Stadium on Jan. 2, security Damar Hamlin went into cardiac arrest and was resuscitated on the sphere. The sport was postponed and ultimately canceled.
Hamlin recovered and was again with the staff in Cincinnati, though he was inactive for the sport.
He’s honoring the ten first-responders, nurses and medical doctors who helped save his life by establishing a scholarship program for Cincinnati youths.
Hamlin’s charitable basis charitable shall be awarding $1,000 scholarships to 10 people from the world’s underserved communities for every of the subsequent three years.
Payments LB Terrel Bernard was dominated out with a concussion.
Payments: Host the Denver Broncos (3-5) on Monday, Nov. 13.
Bengals: Host the Houston Texans (4-4) subsequent Sunday.
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