The Cincinnati Bengals are preparing to travel where they've never been before.
No, not Kansas City. But an AFC championship game on the road.
The Bengals have twice played in and won the AFC championship. But both of those games in their 80s heyday were played in the friendly confines of Riverfront Stadium.
On Sunday they'll travel to one of the least-hospitable stadiums in sports for the highest-stakes round of NFL football not played at a neutral site. Preparing for Arrowhead Stadium is a top priority. Just check the tape from Wednesday's practice. Or outside practice, to be precise.
Security guard at Paul Brown stadium apologized for it being so loud, “they’re practicing.” Bengals are trying to simulate Arrowhead crowd noise at practice- here’s what it sounds like *outside* the stadium. pic.twitter.com/xb2D8kMJaC
— Michele Steele (@MicheleSteele) January 26, 2022
That's loud. So loud that ESPN's Michele Steele said she got an apology from stadium security for the noise.
How will young Bengals respond?
The Bengals led by second-year quarterback Joe Burrow have impressed in these playoffs. Sunday's will be a test like they've never experienced. But don't count them out.
Burrow may be the youngest and least experienced quarterback standing. But he's run the gantlet of SEC road games and has won his own share of high-stakes contests, including the CFP national championship. As has top target Ja'Marr Chase.
The Bengals may not have been here before. But they're not going into Sunday's game unprepared.