After having their way with the Buffalo Bills in Sunday’s divisional-round playoff game, the Cincinnati Bengals are headed back to the AFC Championship Game for the second year in a row.
Head coach Zac Taylor needs to keep his team motivated, and he seems committed to finding it.
Zac Taylor says you are looking for any bit of motivation you can find as the season gets long, now 20 weeks in.
“I’ll search every inch of the Internet to get it.”
— Paul Dehner Jr. (@pauldehnerjr) January 23, 2023
Their contest against the Bills was expected to be a very competitive and entertaining one featuring not only two of the best teams in the NFL but also two of the best quarterbacks in Cincinnati’s Joe Burrow and Buffalo’s Josh Allen.
But the Bengals’ defense got the job done, as Allen completed just 25 of 42 passes and threw one interception and zero touchdown passes.
Wide receiver Stefon Diggs was held to just 35 yards while catching just four of the 10 passes he was targeted on, and no one on the Bills reached 70 receiving yards.
On the other side, Burrow did what he usually does, completing 23 of 36 passes and connecting on two touchdown passes.
If the Bengals want some visceral motivation, they need to look no further than last year’s Super Bowl.
In that contest, they led for much of the second half and looked to be on their way to their first-ever world championship, until Cooper Kupp of the Los Angeles Rams scored the winning touchdown with 1:29 left in the fourth quarter.
It is rare for a team to make it back to the Super Bowl, whether it wins or loses in its first trip there, but with Burrow’s steady hand and the talent around him, Cincinnati looks poised for a return trip and possibly a triumphant ending this time around.