‘It’s exciting to have a chance two years in a row;’ Fans react to Bengals playoff win over Bills

MIAMISBURG — Fans from both the Cincinnati Bengals and Buffalo Bills gathered Sunday afternoon over good food and drinks to watch their teams face off in the AFC Divisional Playoffs.

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News Center 7′s Haley Kosik spoke with fans at Bennett’s Publical Family Sports Grill in Miamisburg on South Main Street and got their reactions.

Despite the snowy weather outside, Bennett’s had a decent turnover of both Bengals and Bills fans under one roof.

“We just try to keep up the positive energy,” said Angie Engelke of Miamisburg. “We hear the singing and all the cheering going on (over there), but it’s a good rivalry and it’s a lot of fun.”

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Kosik said fans of both teams agree they have soft spot for each other.

“Everybody pulled together because of the fact that Damar had his unfortunate accident,” said Stuart King of Fairborn. “Obviously, we’re all happy that he’s doing really, really well and recovering.”

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The last time the two teams played was January 2 in Cincinnati when the game was canceled following the collapse of Bills safety Damar Hamlin in the first quarter of the game where the Bengals led, 7-3, before the NFL canceled it.

He collapsed on the field of Paycor Stadium after tackling Bengals receiver Tee Higgins in the first quarter. The Bills said Hamlin, 24, suffered a cardiac arrest. He was treated at University of Cincinnati Medical Center and released on January 9 continuing his recovery in Buffalo.

He is home now, but still faces “a lengthy recovery,” according to his marketing representative.

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Some Bengals fans told Kosik if their team had lost, they would have rooted for Buffalo next week against Kansas City.

“If the Bills win this game,” Chris Kline told Kosik, ”than I am Bills all the way.”

But now, Bills fans say they will be rooting all the way for the Bengals.

“It’s just good to see the camaraderie between both teams, both cities, so it’s really changed, not that it was ever a bad relationship,” said Casey Davis. “But if the Bills don’t win, we’ll be rooting for the Bengals.”

Now the Bengals will be preparing for the AFC Championship Game against the Kansas City Chiefs.

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“It’s exciting to have a chance two years in a row!” Engelke said.

For the Bengals, it’s back-to-back AFC Championship Game appearances for the first time in franchise history as they beat the Bills, 27-10.

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Cincinnati will play the Kansas City Chiefs next Sunday night, January 29, in the AFC Championship at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri.

The Chiefs advanced to the AFC Championship game beating Jacksonville, 27-20, Saturday.

The Bengals won last year, 27-24, in Kansas City advancing to Super Bowl LVI.

The two teams met on December 4 in Cincinnati where the Bengals won, 27-24, at Paycor Stadium.

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News Center 7 will have coverage of the Bengals and Chiefs leading up to kickoff.

This includes the Orange Zone Sunday morning, January 29, at 11:30 a.m. with John Bedell and Larry Hansgen.

News Center 7′s Brandon Lewis will also provide live coverage from Kansas City.

Kickoff between the Bengals and Chiefs will be at 6:30 p.m.

The game will be televised on Channel 7.