How to watch Bills vs.

Only a few weeks in the past, the Buffalo payments And Cincinnati Bengals They’re set to face the largest sport of the season. An unlucky tragedy struck as Payments’ security Damar Hamlin suffered cardiac arrest on the sphere, and the sport was by no means accomplished. Fortunately, Hamlin was launched from the hospital, having averted the neurological harm, and hopefully, he is on his method to a full restoration.

In the meantime, the 2 groups are getting ready to kick off and provides NFL followers the sport they could not see just a few weeks in the past, as they face off Sunday afternoon within the AFC Divisional spherical of the playoffs. Simply final 12 months, the Payments misplaced within the Divisional Spherical to Kansas Metropolis Chiefs, in the most effective soccer video games in current reminiscence. In the meantime, the Bengals beat the identical Chiefs within the AFC title sport, and finally represented the convention within the Tremendous Bowl.

Now, the Payments and Bengals will tie for the proper to face the winner of the Chiefs vs. Jaguar Recreation within the convention title sport subsequent week. Which one will you be? We’re glad you requested. Earlier than we break down the match and make a prediction, this is a take a look at watch the match.

How do you watch

Date: Sunday 22 January | time: 3 p.m. ET
Location: Haymark Stadium (Orchard Park, New York)
tv: CBS | Stream: Paramount + (click on right here)
Prospect: payments -5.5, O/U 49

When the Bengals have the ball

Over the previous few weeks, Cincinnati’s offensive line has been decimated by accidents. Proper deal with Lyle Collins is out this 12 months with a torn ACL. Proper guard Alex Capa suffered an ankle harm in Week 18 and remains to be out on Sunday. Left deal with Jonah Williams suffered a knee harm final week vs crows It additionally comes out this week. Meaning the Bengals will begin Hakeem Adeniji, Max Scharping and Jackson Carman together with rookie guard Ted Karras Cordell Fulson.

It isn’t a great scenario to be up in opposition to the most effective defensive traces within the NFL – even when that entrance stays with out Von Miller. The Payments can subject Greg Rousseau, Shaq Lawson, AJ Epenesa, Boogie Basham, Ed Oliver, Tim Settle, and numbers which have a minimum of one, if not each, DaQuan Jones and Jordan Phillips as effectively. Buffalo’s strain score has dropped from 35.3% when Miller was wholesome to only 30.3% in his absence, in accordance with TruMedia. However final week vs dolphinsPayments bumped that price as much as 39.2%.

Joe Burrow can neutralize the strain considerably by getting the ball out rapidly, simply as he has for a lot of the common season. His common throwing time that season was simply 2.55 seconds, tied for second within the NFL behind solely Tom Brady. However Burrow has additionally thrown down the sphere quite a bit much less this season (8.3% of his move makes an attempt traveled 20 yards within the air) than he did a 12 months in the past (11.9% of his move makes an attempt).

Sacrificing explosiveness for pace and getting the ball into the playmakers’ palms has executed very effectively for Cincinnati at instances this season, particularly when Burrow managed to slide the ball into the palms of Ja’Marr Chase, who is never downed by a first-choice defender. However Buffalo’s protection is constructed for daring opponents to verify him out in precisely this fashion, so the Payments can use their spectacular workforce pace to fly towards the ball and restrict yardage after holding the ball. Chase is best than nearly anybody within the league at creating these, whereas Tee Higgins is likely one of the finest opposing gamers within the NFL, able to profitable level receptions by utilizing his physique and wing to maintain opposing defensive linebackers from getting their palms on the ball.

Buffalo is often content material to play within the zone and rush with solely 4 defenders, nevertheless it would not be shocking to see Shawn McDermott and Leslie Frazier change up a bit this week after seeing how profitable the Ravens have been in knocking the Bengals out of their sport. Simulated strain and unusual appears behind her. The Payments have the our bodies and athleticism to alter the picture for Burrow after the snap, and so they can nonetheless run their favourite zone look whereas complicated whether or not they’re in Cowl-2, Cowl-3, man everywhere in the board, quarters, or one thing else. Stopping Burrow from figuring out what he’ll see as soon as he drops again for a move earlier than the strike is one of the best ways to make him hesitate, and provides the move sufficient time to beat the offensive line.

Burrow can play out of the offensive construction, and likewise has greater than sufficient confidence in Chase, Higgins, and Tyler Boyd to play the ball if he eliminates it rapidly earlier than the push has time to hit a house run. These guys may completely reward Boro’s religion, however it might be onerous to take action in opposition to Buffalo Excessive Faculty.

Given the problems of the offensive line, it appears unlikely that the Bengals will have the ability to management this sport on the bottom. The operating sport has by no means been overly profitable even when the road was fully intact, and Buffalo sports activities the most effective defenses within the NFL. The Bengals are significantly better at placing the sport on Burrow’s shoulders, and trusting him to beat the Payments with a mix of his mind, fast set off, and excellent perimeter weapons.

When the Payments personal the ball

The final time these two groups went out, we solely noticed the Buffalo Assault for one mile. Due to this, a lot of what we wrote in our preview matches for this sport nonetheless applies:

The Payments and Bengals haven’t performed one another since Josh Allen This model grew to become Josh Allen. The final time these two groups performed was in 2019, when Allen was nonetheless early in his second NFL season. This lack of familiarity is why I am excited to see what sort of bespoke sport plan Bengals defensive coordinator Lou Anarumu comes up with to deal with the distinctive problem Allen presents to the protection.

We have seen him do a terrific job in opposition to Patrick Mahomes, the one different quarterback in Allen’s stratosphere as an all-dimensional playmaker, so will probably be fascinating to see if the best way Anarumu assaults Allen is sort of just like the best way he makes use of it. Issues labored in opposition to Mahomes – and if not, how completely different would the sport plan itself be. The Buffalo and Kansas Metropolis offenses aren’t truly fairly the identical regardless of being constructed on equally proficient quarterbacks, nevertheless it would not be in any respect shocking if Anarumo borrowed a minimum of some facets of Kansas Metropolis’s sport plan for this matchup.

Particularly, dropping as many defenders as potential into protection and speeding with simply three or 4 looks like a stable method to counter what Buffalo likes to do. He can spoil deep Payments crossing lanes, and layering the midcourt space of ​​the sphere with a number of defenders may also help benefit from Allen’s current inaccuracy by placing gamers to choose from ousted balls. It could additionally permit the Bengals to dedicate a number of protection defenders to Stephon Diggs, and pressure Allen to hit them together with his second and third touchdowns. Particularly given the accidents and youth within the secondary, it looks like a reasonably good technique.

The Payments had good time beyond regulation video games final week in opposition to the Dolphins, as Gabe Davis caught six passes for 113 yards and a landing, Dawson Knox caught three for 20 yards and a landing, and Cole Beasley and Khalil Shakir mixed on 5 receptions for 86 yards and one other rating. Diggs had seven catches for 114 yards, however was very quiet after the primary quarter. I’ve a sense that if the Bengals can pressure the Payments to win simply the best way they did final week, with Diggs staying quiet a lot of the sport and different gamers doing a lot of the harm the remainder of the best way, they’re going to even be very pleased with themselves. The query is whether or not they can perform that plan given their relative weak point at nook again. Eli Abel and Cam Taylor-Brett (and Dax Hill, who took three penalties final week) could be overwhelmed, and if Allen will get Diggs – and even Davis – in a one-on-one with both of them, it ought to. He’s anticipated to take his pictures.

If and when he does, the Bengals ought to take full benefit by eliminating turnovers on throws the place he’s both inaccurate or overly aggressive. Allen was all set to pressure issues through the latter a part of this season, and we noticed simply final week how his tendency to take action can preserve any opponent within the sport with Buffalo for longer than anticipated. (And the Bengals aren’t simply opponents, given the standard of their offense.)

The important thing there’s the compelled press, nevertheless it additionally prevents him from taking off downfield to run the ball. It is a tough stability to keep up, however Buffalo’s underpowered offensive line makes it potential – particularly contemplating Cincinnati has a stable passing duo in Trey Hendrickson and Sam Hubbard. If the Bengals can press down the proper facet of the Payments line and pressure Allen to scramble left as an alternative of proper (significantly better off throwing the ball when he strikes towards his sturdy facet), all the higher for them.

The Payments have a tendency to avoid wasting Allen runs constructed for the largest video games, and we may see a heavy dose of them right here to allow them to change the mathematics upfront. Cincinnati till far-off It is onerous to run when a DJ Reader is on the sphere, so though the Payments have been simpler operating it with Devin Singletary and James Prepare dinner currently, it is likely to be a good suggestion to toss stuff just a little completely different on the Bengals in hopes of discovering a bit extra hit than it may very well be. potential in actuality.

prediction: Payments 26, Bengals 23

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