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Green Bay Packers lose second CB with Kevin King ruled out vs. Chicago Bears

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GREEN BAY, Wis. — If the Packers are going to be without their Week 1 starting cornerbacks — and they are on Sunday — this might be a game where they can get away with it.

Two days before facing the Chicago Bears, Packers coach Matt LaFleur ruled out Kevin King because of the shoulder injury he suffered in last week’s win in Cincinnati. A day before the Bengals game, the Packers put All-Pro cornerback Jaire Alexander on injured reserve because of a similar injury.

The Bears, however, have the fewest passing yards in the NFL (566) and the second-fewest pass attempts (122) through five games while getting rookie quarterback Justin Fields acclimated.

The only one of the Packers’ top three cornerbacks available Sunday is first-round pick Eric Stokes, who had his first career interception in Week 4 against the Pittsburgh Steelers. Stokes had moved ahead of King on the depth chart a few weeks into the season, which allowed the Packers to move King into the slot in the nickel package. Last week, both started on the outside, while Chandon Sullivan returned to the slot.

The most likely starters on the outside are Stokes and Isaac Yiadom, who joined the Packers this summer in a trade from the New York Giants, plus Sullivan in the slot in the nickel package.

The Packers also recently signed cornerback Rasul Douglas, who was inactive last week, and could promote veteran Quinton Dunbar, who was signed to the practice squad earlier in the week. Rookie Shemar Jean-Charles, who played one snap last week, could also see the field.

Yiadom has 19 career starts, Dunbar 31 and Douglas 29 — all for other teams.

Elsewhere on defense, LaFleur wouldn’t say whether linebacker Jaylon Smith was ready for a role in the game plan. He was inactive last week given that he practiced only once after the Packers signed him following his release by the Dallas Cowboys.

The Packers should get at least one of their missing offensive line starters back. Center Josh Myers, who missed last week’s game with a hand injury, was not listed on this week’s injury report, while Elgton Jenkins was questionable because of an ankle injury. Jenkins has missed the past three games.

Green Bay placed wide receiver Malik Taylor on the reserve/COVID-19 list Friday. Taylor has played in all five games this season but has only two catches for 14 yards.

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Bengals win first playoff game in 31 years, set the table for a run at AFC title – Cincinnati Bengals Blog

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CINCINNATI — Send those text messages. The Cincinnati Bengals have finally won a playoff game.

Cincinnati defeated the Las Vegas Raiders 26-19 at Paul Brown Stadium in an AFC wild-card game on Saturday. It was Cincinnati’s first playoff victory in 31 years, since before cell phones were capable of sending texts, as memes on the internet reminded folks in the days preceding the game.

But the win wasn’t just about ending the longest playoff win drought in the NFL. It was about the first step in making a run at the AFC title.

Over the course of the season, Cincinnati went from the projected cellar dweller in the AFC North to division champs, ending a six-year stretch without a playoff appearance. That journey included an overtime loss to the Green Bay Packers, one of the top teams in the NFL, and a Week 17 win over the Kansas City Chiefs, the AFC representatives in last year’s Super Bowl.

Those performances indicated Cincinnati wasn’t just a team that could win a playoff game. They showed the Bengals can hang with the best in the NFL.

For the second time this season, the Bengals needed to hang tough against the Raiders in order to pick up a win. The first came on Week 11 and set the tone for the second half of Cincinnati’s season.

The second victory was much more significant. It gave the city of Cincinnati something it hasn’t experienced in decades and set the table for the Bengals to have a truly special postseason.

“We expect to beat everybody that we play, not just hang with them,” Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow said after the game.

Burrow added: “I mean, it’s exciting. But this is expected. This isn’t like the icing on top of the cake or anything. This is the cake. So we’re moving on.”

Describe the game in two words: Curse ending. The Bengals ended the fabled “Curse of Bo Jackson” — the former Raiders running back’s final NFL game in January 1991 that also ended Cincinnati’s last playoff run that featured a win.

“I’m just really, really happy for the city of Cincinnati and that they get a chance to enjoy this,” Bengals coach Zac Taylor said. “And now, just exhale and enjoy the ride we have. Because we’re not done yet.”

Pivotal play: On third-and-four at the end of the first half, Bengals quarterback Burrow scrambled and found Tyler Boyd for a 10-yard touchdown pass to give Cincinnati a 20-6 lead. Initially, it appeared Burrow was going to go out of bounds. A referee even blew an errant whistle. But the play continued and Cincinnati got a key red-zone touchdown.

QB breakdown: Burrow was efficient in his playoff debut. After throwing for 148 yards earlier in the season against the Raiders, Burrow finished Saturday’s win completing 24-of-34 passes for 244 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions.

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Josh Allen, Dawson Knox produce fireworks for Buffalo Bills in freezing weather vs. Patriots

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ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. — The Buffalo Bills started off Saturday night’s wild-card matchup against the New England Patriots with a bang. Quarterback Josh Allen found tight end Dawson Knox for an impressive score in the back of the end zone, giving Buffalo a 7-0 lead in the first quarter.

Allen was given plenty of time to scramble behind his offensive line (9.64 seconds), but initially it looked like none of his options downfield were open. The quarterback moved to his right and appeared to be throwing it out of bounds, but Knox made an impressive toe-tap grab for the score. The 32.1 run yards traveled before passing are the most on any touchdown of Allen’s career. The pass had a completion percentage of 18.4%, per NFL Next Gen Stats, the second-most-improbable passing touchdown of his career.

It was the first passing touchdown in the past five playoffs in which a quarterback took at least nine seconds to throw, per Next Gen Stats.

The scored capped off a nine-play, 70-yard drive that included Allen rushing for 41 yards on two carries.

On the Patriots’ ensuing drive, quarterback Mac Jones moved the ball downfield and appeared to have a touchdown pass to wide receiver Nelson Agholor. Safety Micah Hyde, however, had other ideas and jumped in front of Agholor for an impressive interception in the end zone.



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Follow live: AFC East rivals meet in playoffs as Bills host Patriots

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