The Buffalo Bills (12-3) upcoming matchup against the Cincinnati Bengals (11-4) is set to be one of the most exciting Monday Night Football matchups in history as both teams are in the midst of major win streaks and are led by two of the most explosive quarterbacks in the league, Josh Allen and Joe Burrow.
Not only does this Week 17 matchup mark the first time Allen will face Burrow, but it’s also the first time the Bills star will play against his former Wyoming Cowboys teammate, Bengals linebacker Logan Wilson. No matter which team comes out on top, both players are looking forward to a jersey exchange after the game, however, there is one thing that Wilson would love to avoid.
While speaking with Kay Adams on her podcast earlier this month, Wilson said he’d love to “not to get hurdled,” when the Bills visit Paycor Stadium on January 2.
“He’s been known to hurdle some guys,” he said with a big laugh. “He’s a freak athlete, truthfully. And he’ll also run you over so you gotta worry about everything he’s going to do when he’s got the ball in his hands.”
In a more recent interview shared by Cincinnati Bengals Talk on Tuesday, December 27, Wilson opened up about what it’s like to see Allen go from “where we were in Wyoming” and to him becoming “one of the best quarterbacks in our league.” Wilson gives props to the Bills organization for “surrounding him with talent” and helping shape his exponential growth.
“I’m proud to be his former teammate,” Wilson adds. When asked if he’s surprised at how good Allen has gotten, Wilson shook his head no. “I knew that talent was there. In college, he was just very raw. Those skills weren’t as developed. Sometimes those things just take time. They obviously had a good coaching staff that obviously brought out the best in him. What he is today didn’t happen by chance.”
The former third-round pick from the 20202 NFL Draft said that he was never able to tackle Allen in college because he was considered “off limits and rightfully so.” When asked what it will be like to tackle him in the NFL, Wilson said, “It’ll be just like tackling every other guy. It’s just another tackle… I mean, he’s not going to be easy to tackle but no one in this league is.” The 26-year-old linebacker says he roots for all of his former Wyoming teammates “until you play each other. You’ll be enemies during the game. And then it’s all brotherly love when it’s over. It’s just the nature of it.”
While they don’t get to talk much during the season, Wilson said he got a text from Allen last year after the Bills’ overtime playoff loss to the Chiefs. Allen wrote to say that “he wished they were playing us, of course, and wished us good luck in the Super Bowl.”
Allen Calls Wilson an ‘Absolute Animal’
That kind of love and respect is reciprocated by Allen. During an appearance on Kyle Brandt’s Basement earlier this month, the Bills star said of Wilson, “That’s my guy… He’s an absolute animal so I’m looking forward to that matchup… Hopefully, I can get Logan’s jersey and hang it up on my wall here in my basement.”
During Allen’s weekly appearance on Brandt’s show on Tuesday, December 27, Allen described the Bengals’ defense as “lights out,” and once again brought up Wilson, who was teammate at Wyoming between 2015 and2017 “[He’s] one of the stud linebackers in the league and I’m so happy for his success. He’s such a great dude, too. It’ll be fun to compete against him in real life instead of practice back in Laramie.”
While Brandt mentions that Allen might have “to truck” his good friend down, the 26-year-old said, “He’s too big for me to take on. I’ll probably slide if I see him in the open field. He’s too big and too fast.”
Brandt suggests, “Tell him you’ll slide now and then in the moment, you’ll jump over him,” to which Allen gave a smile and a nod.
The Bills & Bengals are Both Fighting for Home Field Advantage in the Postseason
For the first time since Week 6, Buffalo is considered an underdog for this road game against Cincinnati, as the Bengals opened as 1.5-point favorites to defeat the Bills.
While Buffalo already punched their ticket to the postseason, they’re fighting to hold onto the No. 1 spot in the AFC and clinch home-field advantage.