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.
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…
How this became a Josh Allen World: A quarterback roundtable.
“The Isaiah McKenzie Show: S2 E7.” It hasn’t been pretty, but Buffalo is finding ways to win. The slot receiver known as “Lil Dirty” explains how.
An inside look at the Bengals’ formula with Paul Dehner Jr. on the podcast.
'It was a bad, bad situation:’ The inside story on what happened that fateful night at Arrowhead.
The Pressure is on Josh Allen, two parts.