Bills at Bengals: 5 things to watch for during Week 9’s matchup

The Buffalo Bills (5-3) continue their regular season journey at on the road against the Cincinnati Bengals (4-3) in Week 9 on Sunday Night Football at Paycor Stadium.

All week, topics and storylines have been discussed ahead of these two familiar foes facing off. In the end, regardless of what is said by players, coaches, media outlets and fans, it always comes down to what unfolds on the field in the NFL.

And once the battle arrives, there will be a few particular things to keep in mind to look out for.

With that, are five things to watch for during Sunday’s Bills-Bengals matchup:

Love for Damar

 (Photo by Bryan M. Bennett/Getty Images)
(Photo by Bryan M. Bennett/Getty Images)

The Bills return to Paycor Stadium for the first time since Damar Hamlin suffered cardiac arrest on the field. The national story unfolded and shook everyone.

Thankfully, the ending turned out to be the best possible one as Hamlin will return to Cincinnati again this upcoming weekend.

Hamlin has been on Buffalo’s inactive list most games this season. Even so, his story is going to be discussed throughout the game’s broadcast and it wouldn’t be surprising to see the Bengals give him some sort of shoutout prior to kickoff or during the game. Cincinnati was class throughout the entire situation.

New faces to play?

Packers cornerback <a class="link " href="" data-i13n="sec:content-canvas;subsec:anchor_text;elm:context_link" data-ylk="slk:Rasul Douglas;sec:content-canvas;subsec:anchor_text;elm:context_link;itc:0">Rasul Douglas</a> (29) Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Packers cornerback Rasul Douglas (29) Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The 2023 NFL trade deadline was a busy one for the Bills. Buffalo acquired cornerback Rasul Douglas in a trade with the Green Bay Packers.

Then two free agents in defensive tackle Linval Douglas and running back Leonard Fournette signed with the Bills.

So… do any of them suit up and play?

The start, as always

Sean McDermott of the Buffalo Bills (Photo by Billie Weiss/Getty Images)
Sean McDermott of the Buffalo Bills (Photo by Billie Weiss/Getty Images)

The Bills have a good start against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in their 24-18 win in their last outing. But until Buffalo consistently starts games well, it’s going to be something everyone is watching.

Plus, the Bengals will be a much better opponent. Cincinnati will make the Bills pay if they start slow.

Others getting involved... as always

 Bills tight end <a class="link " href="" data-i13n="sec:content-canvas;subsec:anchor_text;elm:context_link" data-ylk="slk:Dalton Kincaid;sec:content-canvas;subsec:anchor_text;elm:context_link;itc:0">Dalton Kincaid</a> (86) Credit: Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports
Bills tight end Dalton Kincaid (86) Credit: Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports

In a very similar fashion, the Bills getting others involved in the offense aside from receiver Stefon Diggs will continue to be watched until it happens. Again, it did against the Bucs, featuring tight end Dalton Kincaid’s first-career touchdown. Does that continue?

Linebacker plan

Bills linebacker <a class="link " href="" data-i13n="sec:content-canvas;subsec:anchor_text;elm:context_link" data-ylk="slk:Tyrel Dodson;sec:content-canvas;subsec:anchor_text;elm:context_link;itc:0">Tyrel Dodson</a> (25) Credit: Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports
Bills linebacker Tyrel Dodson (25) Credit: Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports

With all the additions the Bills made at the trade deadline, one play they could have added but did not was at linebacker. Tyrel Dodson started against Tampa, but on passing down, safety Taylor Rapp subbed in for him. Is that the route the Bills will continue to go?

Story originally appeared on Bills Wire