Issues couldn’t have began a lot worse for the Buffalo Bills on Sunday afternoon. They allowed a landing on the primary drive and have been by no means really in the sport in entrance of their house crowd, losing 27-10 to the Cincinnati Bengals and being eradicated from the playoffs in the AFC Divisional Spherical for the second straight season.
After the opening kickoff, Joe Burrow took the Bengals 79 yards in simply over three minutes, going 4-of-4 for 64 yards by means of the air earlier than discovering Ja’Marr Chase for a 28-yard landing on a blown protection over the center of the sphere.
After the Bills went three and out on their first drive, Burrow was at it once more.
He went 5-of-5 for 41 yards, together with a 15-yard landing to Hayden Hurst on Third and seven.
The Bengals countered the snow and the loss of three offensive linemen by dialing up quick-hitting passes. The ball was out of Burrow’s hand in simply over two seconds, making the most of Buffalo taking part in softer protection as a result of poor footing on the sphere. It was a technique that didn’t repay towards Cincinnati’s deep receiving corps, and in the blink of an eye fixed, the Bengals have been up 14-0 and it appeared just like the magical run for Buffalo can be over.
Nonetheless, Buffalo discovered their groove for just a little bit in the second quarter.
After two straight three-and-outs, Josh Allen led the Bills on a 15-play, 75-yard landing drive that took nearly eight minutes off of the clock. Allen transformed a 4th-and-1 on a sneak after which transformed a Third-and-1 rush for a landing, keen his workforce again into the sport.
Nonetheless, they merely didn’t have the firepower.
Even after Buffalo bought the advantage of a questionable name when Ja’Marr Chase’s landing was dominated incomplete, they couldn’t take benefit.
Down 17-7 with beneath two minutes to go in the primary half, Buffalo drove right down to Cincinnati’s 41-yard-line. However Devin Singletary dropped a cross on 2nd down after which Josh Allen missed Stefon Diggs on third down, forcing a punt.
But, the Bills nonetheless had another likelihood once they bought the ball to start out the third quarter. They drove right down to the Cincinnati nine-yard line, however couldn’t capitalize.
A poor play name on a primary down draw misplaced two yards, and Buffalo was by no means in a position to recuperate, kicking a subject objective to go down 17-10. Cincinnati instantly drove down the sphere for 75 yards on the following drive to punch in a landing and go up 24-10.
No matter Cincinnati needed to do on offense, Buffalo couldn’t cease.
The Bengals gained 412 yards on 5.8 yards per play. They turned the ball over zero instances and transformed on six of their 10 third downs. They ran for 140 yards on 5.8 yards per carry, dedicated solely two penalties all sport, and Burrow accomplished passes to eight completely different receivers.
It was only a dominant efficiency from final yr’s AFC champions and a significant letdown for a Buffalo workforce that had Tremendous Bowl aspirations.
On the finish of the day, for a workforce constructed to play in Buffalo, the Bills have been fully overmatched in the snow. Their linebackers and corners missed tackles in the open subject. Their defensive position bought pushed again off the ball, and their offensive line couldn’t maintain up in safety.
Nonetheless, offensive coordinator Ken Dorsey appeared to refuse to lean into the quick passing sport, very like the week earlier than. As a substitute of dialing up fast passes for his or her Professional Bowl broad receiver, Dorsey continued to attempt to drive the ball down the sphere, main Allen to remain in the pocket for too lengthy and proceed to get pushed to the turf repeatedly.
Joe Burrow restricted the effectiveness of the Bills cross rush with fast passes; the alternative held true for Josh Allen and the Bengals cross rush.
Time to Throw vs Stress Price:
🔸 Burrow: 2.50 seconds, 21.6% QBP
🔹 Allen: 3.20 seconds, 39.5% QBP#CINvsBUF | Powered by @awscloud pic.twitter.com/1Eq8IGsYbg
— Subsequent Gen Stats (@NextGenStats) January 22, 2023
For Stefon Diggs to complete with simply 35 yards on 4 catches is inexcusable.
Actually, for your entire sport, the vaunted offense that has carried Buffalo for the previous few years merely didn’t match as much as the offense in Cincinnati. Stefon Diggs was a complete non-factor, the operating backs mixed for 37 yards on 11 carries, and Gabe Davis dropped one more lengthy cross that will have been an enormous achieve for the Bills.
Dawson Knox was the workforce’s main receiver with 5 catches for 65 yards, and the Bills scored solely 10 factors at house towards a protection that was 18th in the NFL in scoring charge allowed.
Nonetheless, past simply the consequence on the scoreboard, it was the best way the Bills misplaced that may sting into the offseason. They merely bought manhandled in all aspects of the sport.
Even with Cincinnati clearly operating the ball to take advantage of the clock on the finish of the sport, the Bills have been unable to cease Joe Mixon or Semaje Perine. They drove Bills defenders backward for yards after contact, and the Bengals ran 5 minutes off the clock, maintaining the Buffalo offense off of the sphere till there was simply 2:35 left on the clock.
It was a disappointing finish to what was a making an attempt season for the Bills.
After shedding Micah Hyde for the season in Week 3, in addition they misplaced Von Miller for the season on Thanksgiving. They noticed two of their teammates taken off the sphere in an ambulance, together with Damar Hamlin after he suffered a cardiac arrest. They skilled two blizzards in Buffalo that compelled a sport to be moved and led to dozens of casualties, however there remained the concept they might persevere as a workforce of future.
That hope was shattered simply minutes into Sunday’s sport.
Now, they might want to regroup and work out how one can rebuild the offensive line and supply Josh Allen with extra weapons as a result of they’re dangerously near losing the prime of among the best quarterbacks in the NFL.