The playoff game between the Bengals and the Bills will be shown Sunday at 3 p.m. on RDS and RDS.ca.
ORCHARD PARK, NY — Joe Mixon and the Cincinnati Bengals feel they should be given more respect. Josh Allen and the Buffalo Bills have plenty to motivate them in a season in which adversity has been overcome.
The two teams bonded three weeks ago in Cincinnati only to decide their clash could not continue after safety Damar Hamlin suffered a cardiac arrest and was resuscitated on the pitch. Sunday, they will have a lot to prove during their confrontation in the second elimination round.
For the Bills, just seeing Hamlin regularly at their facilities during the week was uplifting. Additionally, the Buffalo squad believe they have a proven track record and believe they can overcome any remaining hurdles to achieve their Super Bowl expectations.
“I think it gives you a stronger base. The more adversity there is during the season, the stronger it makes you, Allen said. We’ve been through some really weird situations this year, which few teams have ever been through. To have that under our belt, to understand the emotions of these situations, we’re just going to try to use that to our advantage. »
The Bills weathered two winter storms that disrupted their schedule, they mourned the death of Dawson Knox’s younger brother Luke in August, and they rallied in aid of their community following a a shooting that killed 10 black people in a Buffalo supermarket in May.
Hamlin’s collapse and recovery are the most recent, and most personal, situations the Bills have experienced.
In Cincinnati, Mixon could speak for all of the Bengals in expressing his displeasure that his team got the shorter stick end from the NFL.
Already annoyed that the Bengals were disadvantaged in the AFC standings, unable to finish higher than third, Mixon added a layer of that this week, when the NFL began selling tickets for a potential matchup between the Bills and the Kansas City Chiefs. This possible conference final would take place in Atlanta.
“In all honesty, it’s disrespectful,” Mixon suggested, after the NFL’s decision to play at a neutral site was put in place when the Bills (13-3) finished the season at a half. Chiefs game (14-3).
The Bengals (12-4) were left out despite beating the Chiefs this season and they missed their chance to overtake the Bills in the standings after their game was called off.
A conference final featuring the Bengals and Chiefs would instead be played in Kansas City.
“Never mind,” Mixon said. We have a game to play on Sunday, don’t we? You cannot count us as beaten. We are going to show up on the pitch and we are going to do everything to get the win. »
As if the Bengals need more motivation, the Bills are the favorites for Sunday’s game.
“We know we are the defending American champions. So there is an advantage for our team. We’re not underdogs for anyone, Bengals head coach Zac Taylor said. I think that’s the feeling we’ve had all season. We don’t really care what other people say about us.
“We know we deserve to be on the court against any team in the NFL. »