With 30 minutes of football in the books, The Buffalo Bills trail the Cincinnati Bengals 21-7 at halftime. From the get-go, the Cincinnati Bengals captured momentum, winning the coin toss and choosing to take the ball on offense, like the best offensive teams of yesteryear. Methodically, quarterback Joe Burrow drove the Bengals down the field during a touchdown drive that lasted more than six minutes. As was the case during their playoff meeting last season, Cincinnati moved the ball at will via the ground game and through plenty of looks to their tight ends.
Following Cincy’s opening-drive touchdown, running back Ty Johnson took an ill-advised kickoff out of the end zone, forcing quarterback Josh Allen and the offense into a long-field scenario. Allen and the offense responded, especially once wide receiver Stefon Diggs got involved faced with their first third down of the night. The Bills would march down the field to tie the game, while adding a personal foul to Allen’s resume for a finger-point en route to paydirt.
Linebacker Terrell Dodson has looked less than great while on the field — which isn’t... great. That’s especially true now that he may be further relied on following a head injury to starting linebacker Terrell Bernard. If Both Dodson and rookie linebacker Dorian Williams are pressed into full-time starting duties, it’s going to be a long night.
Just before the half, safety Micah Hyde was injured, though he was able to quickly recover.
He's up pretty quickly and looks to be doing ok on the sideline. ... Meanwhile, the team announced Terrel Bernard is being evaluated for a head injury. https://t.co/nDRK1s0cFH— Jay Skurski (@JaySkurski) November 6, 2023
Fortunately, Allen’s ill-timed interception on a pass intended for wide receiver Gabe Davis ended up costing the Bills no points — aside from a lost chance at adding to their own tally.
To this point, the game has looked a lot of how the previous two games looked between the Bills and Bengals. What’s perhaps most concerning is the idea that Cincinnati might have found a tell in head coach Sean McDermott’s scheme, and they’re exploiting it.
While finding an establishing a running game shouldn’t be a priority for offensive coordinator Ken Dorsey, it might be nice to see a few more runs to keep the Bengals honest. So, too, would it be great to see more involvement by rookie tight end Dalton Kincaid.
That is, if Kincaid’s able to play following a blatant trip that wasn’t called. This referee crew has been an interesting watch, to say the least. We’ll dive further into that in the coming days, win or lose.
Here’s your thread for the second half. Win or lose (please win), remember these are our Buffalo Bills — and to them we always offer a triumphant “Go Bills!”