Instant analysis: Bills disappoint in Divisional loss to Bengals

The Buffalo Bills fell to the Cincinnati Bengals 27-10 in the AFC Divisional Round of the playoffs.

The Bills entered the game with a perceived advantage in the trenches. The Bengals were starting three reserve offensive linemen. The Bills, for their part, were without defensive tackle Da’Quan Jones, due to a calf injury.

Cincinnati’s offensive line dominated at the point of attack. Buffalo’s defensive line could not get any sustained pressure on Joe Burrow. In addition, the Bengals had little problem getting the run game moving along. Joe Mixon ran for 94 yards on 17 carries and one touchdown. Mixon consistently gained extra yards after the initial point of contact.

Last week, the Bengals gave up four sacks to the Baltimore Ravens in the Wild Card matchup. The Bills could only muster 1 sack this week.

Buffalo allowed points on five of eight drives to Cincinnati. One of the three “successful” defensive stands ended with the conclusion of the first half, while another ended with a punt during garbage time.

Joe Burrow stood in the pocket and picked apart the Buffalo defense for 242 yards on 23 of 36 passing day. Jamar Chase was heavily involved as expected, catching five passes for 61 yards and a touchdown. Tight end Hayden Hurst was also a matchup problem for the Bills, catching five passes for 59 yards and a touchdown reception. Burrow’s backfield helped him out too, as Samaje Perine caught five passes for 31 yards.

Buffalo’s offense, which had been explosive all year, was inconsistent throughout the game. Buffalo’s scoring drives were long, one of 15 plays and another of 14 plays. On the flip side, the Bills went three-and-out three times. Buffalo punted four times in the game. They also gave up the ball on an unsuccessful fourth down attempt.

Buffalo’s offense struggled to get started, failing to register a first down in the first quarter.

The expectation that Josh Allen could play superman and will the team to victory was not enough on this afternoon. Allen completed 25 passes on 42 attempts for 264 yards. Allen rushed eight times for 26 yards and a touchdown.

The Bills receivers struggled to create separation all game. Cincinnati’s game plan limited Buffalo’s receivers from getting upfield. Ultimately, the Bills had to settle for several intermediate options instead of pushing the ball the down the field.

The Bills offensive line was on their heels all game long. The unit struggled in pass protection and failed to create lanes in the run game. Buffalo’s running backs carried the ball only 10 times for 32 yards.

Buffalo’s playcalling left a great deal to be desired as well. The Bills struggled to adjust to anything that the Bengals threw at them. On offense, the play-calling played into the hands of the Bengals. When Allen had time to throw, he had limited options. Defensively, the group did not match an undermanned Cincinnati offensive line. Joe Burrow had an easy afternoon moving the ball down the field.

It was a disappointing end to the Bills season. Buffalo was outperformed in all aspects of the game.  Buffalo starts their offseason plans while the Bengals travel to Kansas City for the AFC Championship game next week.

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Story originally appeared on Bills Wire