Welcome to the game of the year
The Buffalo Bills and Cincinnati Bengals meet tonight. Go Long will be on site. First, here's a live co-podcast with The Athletic's Paul Dehner Jr. and Jay Morrison to get you primed.
CINCINNATI, Ohio — Everything pro football was meant to be is on national display tonight at Paycor Stadium. Ralph Wilson and Paul Brown would be proud.
Buffalo and Cincinnati represent two markets, two fan bases that are as real and as title-starved as it gets. Both cities directly take on the personalities of their football teams and, no, that cannot be said in a place like Los Angeles. Let’s be honest: L.A. lost its team for 22 years and nobody cared.
The league can go ahead and chase billions of dollars in contrived markets until the end of the time.
You’ll always feel the purity of the sport in Buffalo and Cincinnati where locals derive their very happiness and sadness, day to day, from their football teams. That’s the first thought that crossed my mind when we started recording this live podcast at Fifty West Brewing in Cincinnati. On New Year’s Day, the outdoor space was… packed. Absolutely packed. Honestly, the thinking here was that maybe a dozen or so fans would show up. I was way off.
Thank you to everyone who spent a holiday with us. What a fun time talking Bills and Bengals with The Athletic’s Paul Dehner Jr. and Jay Morrison.
So much is on the line tonight. Josh Allen’s Bills are pursuing a No. 1 seed. After three straight seasons ended with losses on the road in the postseason, they’d certainly like the road to the Super Bowl to go through Orchard Park, NY. Joe Burrow’s Bengals are the hottest team in the NFL. They’ve taken pride in everyone expecting them to roll over in 2022 with one week-to-week “They gotta play us!” battle cry.
We start the conversation off by talking big picture and how these two teams were constructed.
Then, it’s on to the matchup. The Bills will be reliant on Allen’s physical gifts. There’s no holding back their 6-foot-5, 247-pound quarterback at this point. Buffalo needs every yard. The Bengals, meanwhile, rely on Burrow’s brain. No quarterback reads the field as well as him.
All links to the podcast are below.
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Need some pregame reading? Bills and Bengals stories at GoLongTD.com…
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Taiwan Jones is the Buffalo Bills' heartbeat, Part II: 'Our mission'
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Dawson Knox: 'I want to be in the conversation with the elite of the elite'
An inside look at the Bengals’ formula with Paul Dehner Jr. on the podcast.
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What Fuels Motor: Devin Singletary is the player who can lift the Bills to the Super Bowl
Why Tyler Boyd’s past is the key to Cincinnati’s present (and future)
Concussions, Flutiemania, a 'Miracle.' Bills QB Rob Johnson relives it all...
The Perfect Storm: How Stefon Diggs changed everything in Buffalo
The Pressure is on Josh Allen, two parts.
Selfishly, I would still like to see this game. Realistically, I would totally understand if both teams took a tie and moved on. Hope Demar is okay.