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Buffalo Bills at Cincinnati Bengals first-half open thread

It’s a big one

Cincinnati Bengals v Buffalo Bills Photo by Timothy T. Ludwig/Getty Images

The Buffalo Bills and the Cincinnati Bengals are set to face off in a game that will go a long way towards determining who the No. 1 seed in the AFC playoff race is. Along with the Kansas City Chiefs, the Bills and Bengals each can move one step closer to securing a bye week with a win tonight.

For Buffalo, the situation is simple: keep winning games and they’re the first seed. The Bills control their own destiny in the race for a week off in the playoffs. If the Bengals win, then they tie Buffalo in overall record at 12-4. That would makes the Chiefs the first seed, with Cincinnati slotting in at No. 2 and Buffalo falling to No. 3. The Bengals would then need a Kansas City loss on Saturday plus a victory of their own in Week 18 to secure the bye. Buffalo would need losses from both teams plus a win over the New England Patriots in Week 18 to jump back into the first slot in the event of a loss tonight.

The stakes, then, are quite high. It’s a matchup of two of the league’s premier teams, with the Bengals looking to defend as AFC champions and the Bills looking to take the next step towards playing for a Super Bowl title. It features two of the league’s best quarterbacks in Josh Allen and Joe Burrow, young players who are in the MVP race this year and who will probably be seeing an awful lot of each other over the course of their careers.

Your first-half thread is here, friends. Make sure to be civil to each other. Toggle the comments to “oldest” for that classic game-thread feel. And most importantly, enjoy the game wherever it is that you’re watching.

Go Bills!