Is this an example of 'do-or-die' football?
"That's what it looks like. When you play a divisional team for the third time, all that matters is coming out with the win."
What's going through your mind on Sam Hubbard's big play?
"Run faster Sam! Go! Get there! (laughing) He actually did look pretty fast, surprisingly."
Is he faster than you?
"I don't know about that."
How can you overcome losing Jonah and your other starters on the offensive line?
"We have a lot of faith in those guys. Max Scharping stepped up today, Hakeem Adeniji stepped up today. Jackson Carman stepped up and got in there after Jonah went down."
What does Sam Hubbard mean to the team as a whole?
"He's one of the leaders of the team. He's recognized as captain, he's what this whole thing is built on — toughness, hard work, and leadership. Those are the type of guys we try to bring in here. He's one of my best friends and comes up with big plays, over and over. He gets his work done, has a positive attitude in the locker room. He's the type of guy you want on your team."
Is it almost like you're expecting the defense to make a play sometimes?
"You do, but at the same time, you're expecting them not to, because you want to be ready to make plays. I expect them to make big plays in big moments, though."
How stressful is it watching it all unfold?
"It's playoff football; it's what it's all about. Keep your cool and trust your guys to do their jobs."
They seemed committed to preventing you from throwing it long ...
"They mixed a blitz in here and there. They're really good on defense. They stay in their scheme. They mix up coverages. It's a really good defense — one of the best in the league."
Did they change anything in the second half?
"They just mixed it up. They make it tough on you."
Is it a tough play to strip there, on a jump-over like that?
"I haven't even seen it. I just saw Sam running down the field."
Have you ever tried that?
"I have not. And I don't plan on it."
How satisfying is it to keep this momentum going?
"It's very satisfying, especially when you play a team like that. They're so good at what they do, and to beat a divisional team for the second time in two weeks is tough."
Do you ever think about the team's progression from the first game vs. Baltimore?
"Throughout the week of practice you recall all the stuff they've done over the years. They can throw it at you in any moment."
This is the first time the Bengals have won playoff games in consecutive seasons. What does that say about where this franchise is?
"We're in a great spot. We have great leaders in the locker room and Zac puts us in the right mindset to create positions to go and succeed. We have the utmost faith in each other to go make plays to win the game."
How do you balance a sometimes-clunky offense while still advancing the ball?
"We had three possessions in the first half and scored on two. We came out in the second half and scored on our first possession. We didn't finish better, but we need to work on that."
How big was Jamarr Chase today?
"Jamarr is a great player, one of the best. I'm always going to look for him."
Is there something about this team that doesn't panic?
"We've never panicked when we've been in these spots. We understand we have guys that go make plays in moments like that. That gives us faith to stay within ourselves and do our jobs."
Did you have a message for Jackson Carman at the end of the half?
"Jackson's played a lot of football for us. We have faith in him. He works hard, he gets his job done. We're going to count on him a lot."
Was the touchdown to Jamarr Chase in the slot?
"He found a little space for me to put the ball in there. That's what he does."
Did Zac Taylor say anything that resonated with the team this week?
"He always knows what to say. He's not a huge 'rah-rah' speech kind of guy, but he always finds the few sentences that are just right for the right moment. They resonate for everyone."
How exciting is it to take this team to Buffalo now?
"It's an exciting moment. We'll enjoy this win then move on to the next one. They're a great team with a great quarterback. I look forward to the challenge."
Is there any added emotion given what's unfolded with Damar?
"I think now that everyone knows he's doing a lot better and back with the team, it makes us all feel a lot better about playing football."
Was tonight an example of why you said this is where you want to be?
"I love our fans here. I love being from Ohio, playing for this team, and representing this state the way I do. The fans do a great job of giving us energy and putting us in a good position to make it hard on opposing teams when they come in here."
After last year's cathartic first playoff win, does it feel different this time around?
"Playoff wins are always hard, always very satisfactory when you get them. We're going to enjoy this one, then move on to the next one when the time is right."