CINCINNATI — The Cincinnati Bengals are getting closer and closer for the start of their playoff game against the Baltimore Ravens tonight at Paycor Stadium.
News Center 7′s Brandon Lewis says fans in Cincinnati are ready to watch the Bengals take on the Ravens for the second week in a row.
You can feel and hear the excitement ahead of the Bengals’ home playoff game.
“Getting down here, getting everybody all fired up and ready to get that stadium rocking later on,” said Jacob Childers.
“Night games are always fun,” Kody Everts told Lewis. “Always.”
Tailgaters of all ages have been out at Paycor Stadium throughout the day getting the party started and it’s been ongoing since the team’s Super Bowl run last season.
“I had high expectations,” said Noah Johnson. “The Rams, they said they were going to be better than us this year and they’re not in the playoffs so I’m happy with what we’ve done this year for sure.”
“We went to the Super Bowl last year, got to go see all the playoff games and now we’re here to do it again,” Darren Butler told Lewis.
Fans not only filled up the tailgating lots but also the streets near Paycor Stadium.
“Oh fun, lots of fun, lots of drinking,” said Keisha Durham-Foney of Blown 2 Perfection, a Cincinnati business that specializes in making balloon décor. “Lots of partying, lots of fans walking around.”
She partnered with Tashonda Wooten of The Balloon Parlor, another Cincinnati balloon business, to create a balloon display just blocks from Paycor showing the number 85.
It was made in honor of Bengals wide receiver, Tee Higgins. He was involved in the hit that came right before Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin went into cardiac arrest and collapsed during the Bengals-Bills game on Jan. 2.
“All in all, it’s to show love for Tee Higgins,” Durham-Foney told Lewis. “Not just for Tee Higgins but for the entire Bengals team.”
“And the entire football community across the world,” Wooten added.
Fans in Cincinnati are optimistic about a win Sunday night and another potential run to the Super Bowl in Glendale, Arizona.
“There is a lot more optimism in the city with the team right now,” said Jeff Smith. “It’s fun to be here.”
Lewis spoke with fans throughout the day Sunday. They said if you think the energy is electric out in the tailgating lots, wait until you get inside Paycor Stadium.
If the Bengals win, they will play the No. 2 Seed Buffalo Bills in Orchard Park, New York next weekend in the AFC Division Playoffs.
If the Ravens upset Cincinnati, they will battle the No. 1 Seed Kansas City Chiefs in Kansas City, Missouri next weekend.
The times and days of next weekend’s playoff games will be announced by the NFL.
We will have updates of the game throughout the night.
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