Cincinnati running back Joe Mixon wonders why the NFL shuffled the deck when the Bengals "hold all the cards" as reigning AFC champions.
Mixon and Cincinnati (13-4) are on the road this week for the divisional playoff matchup with the Buffalo Bills (14-3). But the NFL began selling tickets this week for a potential AFC Championship Game in Atlanta between the Bills and Kansas City Chiefs.
"It's disrespectful," Mixon said. "Like I said, we've got a game to play on Sunday. You can't count us out. We're going to go out there on Sunday and do what we have to do to get that dub."
The NFL released ticket access to Chiefs and Bills fans with season tickets in their home market this week.
Eyebrows lifted in Cincinnati, and not only in the RB room. The Bengals have discussed the sale of tickets to the title game in team meetings.
"I guess we are the underdogs to them," said Mixon of the Bills. "But at the end of the day, they got to remember: We were the team, and we got the same folks back and we're only better ... we were the team last year to win the AFC Championship. And at the end of the day, we've got all the cards right now.
"Everybody in this locker room is going to matter. Physical, hungry, accountable teammates willing to do whatever they've got to do to get the job done. One away from being one away. We all know what's at stake."
The Bengals would travel to Kansas City for the AFC Championship Game if Cincinnati and the Chiefs win this weekend. If Jacksonville wins, the winner of the Bengals-Bills game would host the title game. Three of the Bengals' four losses this season were on the road (Cowboys, Ravens, Browns).
This week, quarterback Joe Burrow said the Bengals are planning on their fans to meet them at the hotel and represent at Buffalo as they typically do.
"Any time you play on the road it's hostile, big games. It's going to be a little louder, affect your operation a little bit, but that's why you practice," Burrow said.
Burrow said the offense is looking at the reunion with the Bills as "just another game, another playoff game," dismissing the notion there would be added emotion stemming from seeing safety Damar Hamlin rushed to the hospital in critical condition.
"For me personally now that Damar is better, he's back with the team. For me personally, that's in the past," Burrow said.
--Field Level Media