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Game Notes: Cincinnati Bengals at Buffalo Bills

COVERAGE

Kickoff: 4 p.m. Eastern.

Television: The game is a national FOX-TV broadcast. The FOX affiliate in Cincinnati is WXIX-TV (Channel 19). Additional regional FOX affiliates include WGRT-TV (Ch. 45) in Dayton, WTTE-TV (Ch. 28) in Columbus, WLIO-TV (Ch. 8.2) in Lima, WDKY-TV (Ch. 56) in Lexington and WDRB-TV (Ch. 41) in Louisville. Broadcasters are Kevin Burkhardt (play-by-play), Charles Davis (analyst) and Pam Oliver (sideline reporter).

Radio: The game will air on the Bengals Radio Network, led by Cincinnati flagship stations WCKY-AM (ESPN 1530; all sports) and WEBN-FM (102.7). Broadcasters are Dan Hoard (play-by-play) and Dave Lapham (analyst).

Setting the scene: The Bengals travel to Buffalo on Sunday for their third preseason game — the proverbial “dress rehearsal,” in which starters typically see their most preseason playtime — with a bevy of storylines, connections and intrigue.

At the top of the list is perhaps the most high-profile and nationally recognized story — Bengals QB Andy Dalton and WR Tyler Boyd are visiting Buffalo for the first time since their 49-yard TD connection in the waning moments of last year’s finale at Baltimore defeated the Ravens and helped put the Bills in the playoffs for the first time since 1999. The play sparked a wave of goodwill from Bills fans, and in the end resulted in more than $550,000 in donations to both Dalton’s charity foundation and Boyd’s hometown youth sports league.

But close observers of the two teams will say that the narratives hardly stop there, as both squads also will see their share of familiar faces on Sunday. This offseason the Bengals acquired LB Preston Brown as an unrestricted free agent and OT Cordy Glenn in a trade — both played with the Bills last season — while the Bills acquired a pair of Bengals UFAs in QB AJ McCarron and C Russell Bodine. All four players are expected to have prominent roles for their current teams.

At Dallas, several of the Bengals’ young players stood out. Second-year DE Jordan Willis recorded two sacks, rookie DE Sam Hubbard continued his strong preseason with a sack-fumble, and second-year DE Carl Lawson picked up where he left off as a rookie and logged a sack, a TFL and two QB hits. Thirdyear DT Andrew Billings, who is listed as the No. 1 NT this season after being a rotational player in 2017, was also a disruptive force in the Cowboys’ backfield. On Sunday at Buffalo, observers will keep eyes on how much playtime the younger Bengals see with the vets during the “dress rehearsal” part of the game.

The Bills enter Sunday’s game 1-1. They opened preseason with a loss to Carolina, before taking down Cleveland on the road last week.

Bengals Cowboys Football

Bengals-Bills connections: Bengals LB Preston Brown was a third-round draft pick of Buffalo in 2014, and was with the Bills through the ’17 season ... Bengals OT Cordy Glenn was a second-round draft pick of Buffalo in 2012 and was with the Bills through the ’17 season ... Bills C Russell Bodine was a fourth-round draft pick of Cincinnati in 2014 and was with the Bengals through the ’17 season ... Bills QB AJ McCarron was a fifth-round draft pick of Cincinnati in 2014 and was with the Bengals through the ’17 season ... Bills DT Adolphus Washington is from Cincinnati (Taft High School) and played at Ohio State University ... Bills OT Marshall Newhouse was with the Bengals in 2014 ... Bengals quarterbacks coach Alex Van Pelt played for the Bills from 1995-2003, and coached there from ’06-09. He also coached for the University at Buffalo in 2005 ... Bengals linebackers coach Jim Haslett played for the Bills from 1979-86, and also coached at the University at Buffalo from 1988-90 ... Bengals offensive coordinator Bill Lazor coached for the Bills from 2001-02. Lazor also played (1990-93) and coached (’94-00) at Cornell University ... Bills defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier coached for the Bengals from 2003-04 ... Bengals HB Brian Hill and Bills QB Josh Allen were teammates at the University of Wyoming ... Bills TE Keith Towbridge is from Toledo, Ohio (Central Catholic High School) and played at the University of Louisville ... Bengals CB Tony McRae was with the Bills briefly in 2017 ... Bengals TE Mason Schreck played at the University at Buffalo ... Bills S Micah Hyde is from Fostoria, Ohio (Fostoria High School) ... Bills G John Miller played at the University of Louisville ... Bengals wide receivers coach Bob Bicknell coached for the Bills from 2010-12 ... Bengals offensive assistant/quarterbacks coach Dan Pitcher played at Cortland State University from 2008-11, and coached there in ’12 ... Bills linebackers coach Bob Babich coached at Bowling Green State University in 1991.

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