NFL Playoffs: Cincinnati Bengals beat Buffalo Bills just weeks after Damar Hamlin’s collapse

By Hannah Brewitt and Kevin Dotson, CNN

After the Kansas City Chiefs and Philadelphia Eagles beat the Jacksonville Jaguars and New York Giants respectively, all eyes were on the remaining Divisional Round matchups Sunday, with the Buffalo Bills facing the Cincinnati Bengals and the San Francisco 49ers hosting the Dallas Cowboys.

The Bills fell to the Bengals 27-10, with the Cowboys-49ers game still to come.

Here’s what else you need to know.

Cincinnati Bengals crush Buffalo Bills 27-10

Twenty days after suffering cardiac arrest in a game against the Cincinnati Bengals, Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin was in attendance as the Bills once again faced the Bengals, this time in the Divisional Round of the NFL Playoffs at Highmark Stadium in Orchard Park, New York.

But the Bengals prevailed despite Buffalo’s homefield advantage and the emotional lift of having Hamlin in the stadium.

The CBS broadcast of the game showed Hamlin arriving by cart and entering the Bills’ locker room wearing sunglasses, a face covering and a jacket sold through his Chasing M’s clothing line with a hood pulled up. Hamlin’s mother Nina, father Mario, and younger brother Damir were also shown entering the stadium.

Later, a video posted to social media showed Hamlin walking from the locker room to an elevator while being shielded by security officials.

During the game, Hamlin’s attendance was announced on the stadium public address system, drawing an ovation from the crowd at Highmark Stadium. CBS showed video of Hamlin hyping up the crowd by making his signature heart-shaped gesture with his hands and urging the crowd to make noise by raising his arms.

With a steady snow falling in western New York and all the emotion tilting in the Bills’ direction, the Bengals came out of the gate strong. A pair of Joe Burrow touchdown passes gave Cincinnati an early 14-0 lead, and the Bengals took a 17-7 lead into halftime.

The Bengals maintained a comfortable advantage, leading by 14 points heading into the fourth quarter, while the Cincinnati defense stifled the Buffalo offense throughout the contest. The Bills’ attack could never get any momentum going and only managed to get into the end zone one time in the game.

Cincinnati now advances to face the Kansas City Chiefs in the AFC Championship game. The Chiefs will host the Bengals at Arrowhead Stadium next Sunday with kickoff scheduled for 6:30 p.m. ET.

Dallas Cowboys at San Francisco 49ers, 6:30 p.m. ET

To wrap up the weekend, the Cowboys are in Santa Clara to take on the 49ers for the second consecutive postseason. Last year, San Francisco ended the Cowboys season in the Wild Card round with a 23-17 victory.

This time, they meet one step further in the Divisional Round. The 49ers are riding an 11-game winning streak, led by “Mr. Irreverent,” quarterback Brock Purdy. The Cowboys are coming off a triumphant Wild Card victory over Tom Brady’s Buccaneers in search of their first NFC Championship showing since 1994.

San Francisco enters this matchup as the slight favorite. They possess the league’s top-scoring defense and best defense in yards allowed, along with the second-best rush defense and turnovers forced.

Despite having quarterback troubles throughout the season, their offense has been electric, having scored 22 points in all but three games.

Their success amidst instability is a testament to the adaptability of this team. With Purdy at the helm, the team has unexpectedly only gotten stronger.

They’re 6-0 with him as a starter, and he has a demonstrated ability of coming back from a slow first half. Ultimately, the 49ers are a team that can not be counted out until the final whistle, no matter what obstacles they might face.

As the underdogs, getting through to the final four would be a bit more of a challenge for the Cowboys. America’s team is more scrappy and less reliable, but still capable of leaving Santa Clara with a victory.

One major concern for the Cowboys is their special teams unit. While special teams are often overlooked, every point and every field goal matters when it comes to the postseason.

Just last week, Dallas kicker Brett Maher missed four extra point tries against the Buccaneers. While they still managed to win the game, it’s unlikely that that will work twice. Getting the ‘easy’ points could be the deciding factor in this game.

How to watch

Here’s how to catch the Cowboys and 49ers:

Australia: NFL Game Pass, ESPN, 7Plus

Brazil: NFL Game Pass, ESPN

Canada: CTV, TSN, RDS, NFL Game Pass on DAZN

Germany: NFL Game Pass, ProSieben MAXX, DAZN

Mexico: NFL Game Pass, TUDN, ESPN, Fox Sports, Sky Sports

UK: NFL Game Pass, Sky Sports, ITV, Channel 5

US: NFL Game Pass, CBS Sports, Fox Sports, ESPN, Amazon Prime

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