ORCHARD PARK, NY — The Cincinnati Bengals play the Buffalo Bills this afternoon in the AFC Divisional Playoffs at Highmark Stadium in Orchard Park, New York. The winner advances to the AFC Championship Game to play the Kansas City Chiefs next Sunday night.
The Bengals got here beating the Baltimore Ravens, 24-17, last Sunday night at Paycor Stadium in Cincinnati.
The Bills advanced defeating the Miami Dolphins, 34-31, last week at home.
Buffalo finished the regular season with a 13-3 record while Cincinnati went 12-4.
Buffalos is the No. 2 seed in the AFC while Cincinnati is the No. 3 seed. 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.
Hamlin collapsed on the field 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.
The Bills and Bengals have met twice in the postseason with Cincinnati winning both times at Riverfront Stadium.
The Bengals won on January 3, 1982 by a score of 28-21 in an AFC Divisional Playoff game. Ken Anderson threw a go-ahead 16-yard touchdown pass to Cris Collinsworth with 10:39 left in the fourth quarter. It was Cincinnati’s first postseason win ever, according to the team’s website.
Cincinnati beat Buffalo on January 8, 1989 in the AFC Championship game, 21-10. Ickey Woods ran for 102 yards and two touchdowns.
If the Bengals win, next Sunday’s AFC Championship game will be played in Kansas City at Arrowhead Stadium.
If the Bills win, the AFC Championship game will be played at a neutral site, Mercedes Benz Stadium, in Atlanta, Georgia.
The league revamped its playoff system after Buffalo’s game against the Cincinnati Bengal on January 2 was canceled following the Hamlin’s collapse, according to the Associated Press.
More than 50,000 tickets were sold in the first 24 hours for a potential AFC championship game in Atlanta as season ticket holders for the Bills and Chiefs were given priority access to tickets, the NFL said Friday.
The Bills could’ve claimed home field throughout the AFC playoffs with a win over the Bengals. Instead, Buffalo played one less game and finished a half-game behind top seed Kansas City, prompting the league to decide that a neutral site would be used if both teams advanced to the conference championship.
News Center 7 will have coverage of the Bengals and Bills playoff game.
Our Brandon Lewis is covering the game from Orchard Park, New York.
Kickoff between the Bengals and Bills is at 3 p.m.
The game will be televised here on Channel 7.
We will have a full recap and reaction from fans tonight on News Center 7 at 11.
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