KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Nearly a year to the day after the Cincinnati Bengals sent the Kansas City Chiefs home in overtime in last season’s AFC Championship game, the Chiefs took their revenge. Playing through a sprained ankle, quarterback Patrick Mahomes broke Joe Burrow and the Bengals’ three-game winning streak against Kansas City.
Harrison Butker sent the Chiefs to the Super Bowl with a 45-yard field goal to win 23-20 on Sunday night. It’s the Chiefs’ third-place finish in the Super Bowl in four seasons. They will face Jalen Hurts and the Philadelphia Eagles.
Mahomes had a message for Bengals cornerback Mike Hilton, who dubbed the Chiefs’ stadium “Burrowhead” after the Bengals’ divisional round victory over the Buffalo Bills.
“We showed this place is Arrowhead, it’s not ‘Burrowhead’ here,” Mahomes said after the win.
Kansas City Chiefs
Mahomes added another important chapter to his legacy on Sunday night at Arrowhead Stadium.
A week after suffering a sprained ankle and hobbling in the second half of the playoff win over the Jacksonville Jaguars, Mahomes guided the Chiefs to the Super Bowl for the third time in four seasons. The Chiefs will face the Eagles in Super Bowl LVII following their win in the AFC Championship Game.
The Chiefs won on Harrison Butker’s 45-yard field goal with three seconds left. Mahomes completed 1 of 2 passes for 6 yards on the drive and surged 9 yards to the field. He finished 29 of 43 for 326 yards and two touchdowns.
Don’t Buy Valdes-Scantling’s Outstanding Performance: Marquez Valdes-Scantling made big catches for the Chiefs and finished with six receptions and 116 yards and a touchdown. He’s had similar games for the Chiefs this season, but not enough. More often than not, he just won’t be a high-volume receiver for the Chiefs, but one who occasionally delivers big plays.
Promising trend: The Chiefs have reason to be proud of what they’ve accomplished on defense. They pressured Burrow for much of the game and ended up with five sacks. They had two interceptions, which they only had once in their three games against Burrow and the Bengals. They also scored two field goals in Cincinnati while in the red zone.
Discreet statistics that matter: By the end of the game, the Chiefs were playing without four of their top six wide receivers due to injury or illness. JuJu Smith-Schuster (knee), Mecole Hardman (pelvis) and Kadarius Toney (ankle) were injured during the game. Justin Watson (illness) did not dress. That left them with Valdes-Scantling, rookie Skyy Moore and a player called up from the practice squad on Saturday. –Teacher
Ja’Marr Chase’s audacious catch on 4th down sets up Bengals’ TD
Ja’Marr Chase makes an unreal catch in fourth-and-sixth that sets up Samaje Perine for a short Bengals touchdown.
The sequences had to end eventually.
The Chiefs eventually beat the Bengals in a 23-20 win in the AFC Championship game. The Bengals were unable to secure four straight wins against their conference rivals and ended the season in a loss after winning 10 straight games.
It was another classic game between the teams that ended in the end and featured great momentum. Cincinnati came close to picking up another win, but ultimately couldn’t stop Mahomes and Kansas City from ending their winning streak in a thrilling series.
Buy Higgins Outstanding Performance: Don’t sleep on Tee Higgins as the top reception option. When the Bengals needed a critical finish on Sunday, Higgins was there. This was evident in the third quarter, when he came up and caught a 27-yard touchdown pass from Burrow to tie the game at 13. He used his frame and ball skills to catch a jump ball that Burrow weighed in well. on the touchline. Cincinnati will have to make several contract decisions on key players in the upcoming offseasons. Higgins is eligible for an extension this year and has shown why he deserves to be paid like a top receiver.
The biggest hole in the game plan: Cincinnati struggled to contain Mahomes even though he was dealing with a sprained ankle. The Kansas City quarterback completed his first six passes outside the pocket for 69 yards and a touchdown, according to NFL Next Gen Stats. And when Mahomes had time to pitch, he made the Bengals pay. During three quarters, he passed 13 of 19 for 198 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions. He finished 29 of 43 for 326 yards and two touchdowns.
QB Breakdown: Burrow had a mixed sack against Kansas City. He struggled early, with the biggest miss a first-half turnover on a pitch to Higgins. But Burrow also had key plays in which he was able to move the offense and trust his receivers in difficult times. It happened when Burrow found Higgins on a 27-yard touchdown pass on third down in the third quarter and again when Ja’Marr Chase caught a 35-yard pass on fourth-and-six as he was double covered in the middle.
Describe the game in two words: Another classic. Cincinnati and Kansas City delivered the fourth installment of this series in two seasons and produced another thriller in the AFC Championship Game. — Baby