Joe Burrow and the Bengals overcome the elements to reach AFC title game again

Joe Burrow threw two touchdown passes, Cincinnati’s defense swarmed Josh Allen on a snow-slicked field and the Bengals advanced to their second straight AFC championship game

with a 27-10 win over the Buffalo Bills on Sunday. Damar Hamlin’s inspirational presence while watching the game from an end-zone suite was not enough to spark the Bills in

a rematch of a regular-season game that was canceled on Jan. 2 when the Bills safety went into cardiac arrest and had to be resuscitated on the field in Cincinnati. Instead,

it was “Joe Cool” showing poise while playing in a persistent snowfall. Burrow completed his first nine passes for 105 yards in leading Cincinnati to a 14-0 lead after its

first two possessions. Ja’Marr Chase opened the scoring with a 28-yard TD catch 3:20 into the game, followed by Burrow’s 15-yard TD throw to Hayden Hurst eight minutes later. Joe

Mixon scored on a 1-yard run, and Evan McPherson made field goals from 20 and 28 yards in a game the Bengals never trailed. Cincinnati advanced to consecutive AFC

championship games for the first time in franchise history, and will again travel to play Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs. The Bengals beat the Chiefs 27-24 to advance

to last year’s Super Bowl, which they lost to the Los Angeles Rams. “It’s going to be a fun one,” said Burrow, who went 23 of 36 for 242 yards. “Two of the top guys in the

league, two of the top teams in the league, great defenses, great overall teams, great coaches.” Cincinnati has won the past three meetings against Kansas City, including a

27-24 victory last month. The Chiefs are making their fifth straight appearance in the AFC championship game following a 27-20 win over Jacksonville on Saturday.