A solid outing from quarterback Joe Burrow and a late defensive stand saw the Cincinnati Bengals beat the Las Vegas Raiders 26-19 on Saturday to earn their first NFL playoff victory in 31 years.
Burrow threw for two touchdowns as he piloted an efficient Bengals offense that scored on their first four drives.
“It feels great winning for us, for the city, for the organization. But, you know, we expected this. So it’s not going to be a big celebration like it was when we won the division,” Burrow told broadcaster NBC.
Cincinnati will face either the Kansas City Chiefs or Buffalo Bills in the divisional round next weekend.
Allen led the Bills to touchdown drives on their first seven possessions, a first for any team in an NFL playoff game in the Super Bowl era.
That included a controversial 10-yard TD strike to Tyler Boyd that Burrow unleashed just before going out of bounds.
The touchdown counted, however, whether or not the sound of the whistle caused Raiders defenders to pull up on the play.
“I think there’s a lot of things that went on in the game both ways,â€ he said. â€œIâ€™ve got enough problems with my job, I can’t do the officiating, too.”
Down 26-19 and needing a touchdown to force overtime, Raiders quarterback Derek Carr converted a third and 17-yard play and a third and 10 before the Bengals defense came up with three huge stops from within 10 yards of the goalline.
Carr completed 29 of 54 passes for 310 yards and a touchdown, but the Raiders remained without a post-season victory since their triumph in the 2002 AFC Championship game.
In Buffalo, Allen set a team playoff record with five touchdown passes, including two to Dawson Knox, while Devin Singletary ran for two scores in the first half. Singletary rushed for 81 yards and Allen added 66 yards rushing.
“We kept the momentum going all day today. We are happy to come out with this win.”
Allen led the Bills to touchdown drives in each of their four first-half possessions as Buffalo built a 27-3 halftime lead.
“We couldn’t keep up with them. We couldn’t do much of anything,” said Belichick. “A lot of plays didn’t go well. It is a long list.”