Quick Hits: Bengals Shed Underdog Role; “Bench,” Is Where Wins Sit; Defense Rules Postseason

Bengals running back Joe Mixon, looking cooler than Evan McPherson’s last-snap 52-yard field goal that put the Bengals in next Sunday’s AFC title game, beamed through his designer shades in the wake of the improbable 19-16 win over the Titans.

This is what it means. A contingent of Bengals administrators leaves Monday to check out the Super Bowl site in Los Angeles, as all Final Four teams must. 

“Man, I must really be dreaming right now to be honest,” Mixon said. “I’m on the highest cloud you could ever imagine. I’m at an all-time high right now.”

He could have been speaking for all Bengaldom as the club savored its first road playoff win ever and its first trip to the AFC’s big game in either Buffalo or Kansas City since they hosted the conference championship on Jan. 8, 1989 at Riverfront Stadium.

The architect of the run, Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow, who always plays it cool, threw cold water on the “Why Not Us?” stuff at Friday night’s team meeting and kept the theme going in the giddy postgame news conference.

“I’m sick of that narrative,” said Burrow after his 348-yard night did at least keep the Legend of Seamless Joe alive. “We’re not underdogs. We’re in this to make noise.”

Burrow has now done what Ken Anderson and Boomer Esiason never did and won that road playoff game. Now next week he’ll try to do what they did…

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