Jan 22, 2023
Bengals blow out Bills in AFC playoffs
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BUFFALO, N.Y. — The Cincinnati Bengals knocked off the No. 2-seeded Buffalo Bills 27-10 on Sunday in snowy Orchard Park.
The win sends the Bengals (14-4) to the AFC Championship Game against top-seeded Kansas City at Arrowhead Stadium next Sunday.
“We came into their home field, they put up 10 freaking points and we got 27,” said Bengals defensive lineman D.J. Reader. “And we’re on to KC and that’s all that matters. You can’t count us out, you can count around. Bengals ain’t this — Bengals ain’t that. We just keep chopping and keep playing on Sunday.”
Cincinnati quarterback Joe Burrow set the tone on the opening drive.
In near blizzard-like conditions, the Bengals offense took only six plays to go 79 yards.
The drive featured four Burrow passes — including a 23-yard connection to Tyler Boyd and a 28-yard TD pass to Ja’Marr Chase for the 7-0 lead.
“Snow doesn’t affect the ball too much,” said Burrow, who finished the game with 242 yards passing and completed 23 of 36 attempts with two TDs. “It might get a little wet, but it’s not rain or wind or anything like that. We’re confident in just about any weather that there is.”
Burrow also had a passer rating of 101.8 with no turnovers.
“He’s the best,” Bengals coach Zac Taylor said about his QB. “His confidence makes everyone else play better.”
On the next Cincinnati drive, it took Burrow 10 plays to lead his team down the field — and ended with a Hayden Hurst 15-yard touchdown strike for the 14-0 lead with 3:37 to go in the first quarter.
“Our guys just believed,” Taylor added. “We beat a good football team in tough conditions today.”
Taylor is now 3-0 in AFC road games, while the Bills suffered only their second home playoff loss in franchise history.
“This really felt good today,” Hurst said. “To come in here when no one gave us a chance to win and advance really feels good.”
The Bengals defense stifled Buffalo quarterback Josh Allen to 325 yards passing and applied pressure on him most of the game.
“That was what we wanted to do — to attack,” Bengals cornerback Mike Hilton said.
Cincinnati came into Highmark Stadium the underdogs, which motivated the Who Dey defense to play nearly perfect ball.
“We came to get it done today,” Bengals linebacker Logan Wilson said. “A lot of people counted us out, but we know what we can do, and we got it done.”
The Bills (14-4) didn’t earn a first down until a minute into the second quarter, and managed to cut the Bengals’ lead to 14-7 with 7:25 to go in the first half.
Cincinnati kicker Evan McPherson nailed a 28-yard field goal with 1:49 left in the second quarter, boosting the lead to 17-7 at the intermission.
On the ground, the Bengals dominated and piled up a total of 172 yards, led by Joe Mixon’s 105 yards on 20 carries.
“To run like we did in this environment, to handle the noise and protect Joe (Burrow) the way they did, I thought our offensive line was outstanding,” Taylor said. “We’re built for this.”
Buffalo managed a field goal with 7:42 to play in the third to cut the lead to 17-10.
But the Bengals added another TD — when Mixon capped off a 12-play, 75-yard drive with a one-yard plunge with 1:17 left in the third for the 24-10 lead.
McPherson made the score 27-10 when he booted a 20-yard field goal with 11:22 to play in the game.
“This might be our most complete game of the season,” Burrow said. “Our line was great and my receives ran perfect routes and made great plays.”
Chase had 61 yards on five catches and a touchdown, while Hurst had five catches for 59 yards and a touchdown, and Samaje Perine hauled in five passes for 31 yards.
Cincinnati will face Kansas City (14-3) with a trip to the Super Bowl on the line.
Kickoff is set for 6:30 p.m.
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Questions, worries loom over Benedict Canyon shooting that left 3 dead, 4 wounded
When Rachel David arrived at her Benedict Canyon home early Saturday morning after a night out, she thought the rows of flashing police cars were part of a film shoot, which is fairly common in the area.
She soon found out it wasn’t a movie set. Police said three people — women in their mid-20s or early 30s — were shot to death inside a car and four wounded outside during a gathering in the quiet cul-de-sac, which is tucked away in a secluded neighborhood north of Beverly Hills.
The shooting caps a deadly week in California. A gunman killed 11 people in a mass shooting in Monterey Park last weekend, and two days later, another assailant fatally shot seven people at two farms near Half Moon Bay.
“I wait for my Ubers right at that corner,” David said Saturday morning, pointing at the intersection of Ellison and Arby drives, where there was a slash of yellow police tape. “Not anymore.”
Investigators on Saturday afternoon were still searching for a suspect or suspects, and gave little information about what happened or who was involved other than to say the attack — during which more than 30 shots were fired — was not random. Authorities towed from the scene a white Porsche SUV, and a black Mazda SUV that had bullet holes on both sides of the car and in the passenger-side window.
Sgt. Bruce Borihanh from the Los Angeles Police Department said the home was used for short-term rentals. Neighbors said the area in recent years has seen an influx of occupants. Several homes are listed on Airbnb and Vrbo, ranging from $600 to $7,500 a night.
“We called it a gathering, until we can interview some of the people that were here to determine exactly what kind of gathering it was,” Borihanh told reporters at the scene.
Capt. Jonathan Tippet, head of LAPD’s Robbery-Homicide Division, said witnesses to the shooting and people who were at the home had left before police arrived. Neighbors reported seeing several cars driving away from the scene within minutes of the gunfire.
Many neighbors woke up to the sound of police helicopters circling overhead.
“Now you know why moms worry about their children when they’re out late,” said David’s mother, who declined to give her name.
“I just feel terrible,” she added, gesturing with her coffee mug toward the blocked-off street where the three victims’ bodies were still in the car.
She and David live around the corner from the crime scene with David’s grandmother, who has lived in the house as its original owner since the 1960s. For decades, it was a quiet neighborhood of longtime residents. In the last five years, as many of the original owners have died, many of the homes have been converted into rental properties, the women said.
“Literally, I don’t even lock my car at night, it’s so safe,” David said. “Even people trying to find our house can’t find it.”
An Ellison Drive resident who declined to give her name said she also woke up to the police helicopters and assumed they were looking for suspects involving a lesser crime, perhaps a robbery. Then her phone pinged a few hours later.
“My dog walker woke me up at 6:30 and said, ‘Oh my God, are you OK?’” the woman said. “Then I realized it was way more serious than someone getting their jewels stolen.”
She said several houses had recently undergone renovations and appeared to have been converted to short-term rentals.
“There are some party houses up there,” she said. “I’ve always been curious what was gonna happen up the hill.”
Frank Coraci, a film director who has lived in the neighborhood for the last 20 years, said he occasionally rents out his home. He’s had a tenant for the last eight months and now lives about 10 minutes away. When he heard of the shooting, he headed right over.
“It freaked us out, three people dead. I could have been walking my dog,” he said.
The cul-de-sac has been home to several celebrity occupants, Coraci said. A sleek modern mansion across the street from the murder scene is often rented out for high-end parties, he said. House parties at rented homes were common during the COVID-19 lockdown, he said.
Benedict Canyon is a favorite of celebrities because it feels quiet and secluded despite being just a short drive from the city, said Joel Gilman, a retired advertising executive who bought his house in 1971 for $58,000.
“It’s like you’re a million miles away, except the city and the valley are a five-minute drive,” Gilman said.
While Benedict Canyon once had a rustic air — some residents rode horses through the streets when Gilman moved in — the neighborhood has been transformed by investors building 10,000-square-foot homes to sell or rent, he said.
Gilman said he saw a listing for a home on the street where the shooting occurred whose rent was $100,000 a month.
He heard nothing Friday night, neither the sounds of a party or gunfire. Had there been a party, the sound would have been amplified through the canyon, Gilman said.
He was shocked that the suspect or suspects managed to escape, given the neighborhood’s dead ends and winding roads.
Benedict Canyon has been the scene of several high-profile murders over the years, including the 1969 Manson “family” killings and the 2000 murder of Susan Berman, who was shot in the back of the head by her best friend, real estate scion Robert Durst.
But “it’s really not typical,” said Samantha Anobile, a real estate agent, who lives down the street from the shooting scene.
One woman emerged from her house on Ellison Drive on Saturday afternoon to pick up a food delivery. She said she had just moved into the house a day earlier. She said she did not hear any gunfire and woke up to police swarming the street.
She did not expect a shooting on her block — “I mean, in Beverly Hills?” — but she said she was not particularly concerned.
“I’m from New York,” she said.