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Who Dey? Super Bowl-bound.
The Cincinnati Bengals are headed to their third Super Bowl appearance in franchise history after defeating the Kansas City Chiefs, 27-24, in the AFC Championship Game.
This year’s Cincy team — led by head coach Zac Taylor, quarterback Joe Burrow and rookie wideout Ja’Marr Chase — believed they were destined to represent the AFC in Inglewood throughout the record-setting performance.
The Bengals pulled off the tremendous comeback win with a combination of vital defensive plays and a typically cool performance by Burrow.
Cincinnati became the first team in a conference championship game to overcome a double-digit halftime deficit and win.
Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs offense made a convincing case in the first half for a total blowout to ensue.
Mahomes threw a score to Tyreek Hill, Travis Kelce and Mecole Hardman to put the lead at 21-3 before a Samaje Perine took a screen pass for 41 yards to inch the Bengals closer before the half.
The Bengals found themselves needing a big play for the majority of three quarters. Cincy defensive lineman BJ Hill delivered with minutes left before the fourth. He intercepted Mahomes at the line of scrimmage, allowing Burrow and the offense to tie the game after being down 14.
Burrow found Chase for a two-yard score and wideout Trent Taylor for the two-point conversion. 21-21.
The Bengals gained the lead off a second field goal by Evan McPherson, 24-21.
The Bengals’ momentum pressed Mahomes and the offense to engineer a game-winning or game-tying drive — down by three as the clock began to wind down.
Cincy’s defense stepped up big: sacking Mahomes on the penultimate possession — nearly losing a fumble — and setting up Harrison Butker for a 40-yards field goal.
The Chiefs won the toss for a consecutive week but lost the game this time around.
Vonn Bell’s interception off a deep pass attempt from Mahomes gave the Bengals offense a chance to march down the field for the OT win.
Letting Money McPherson remind the League why drafting a kicker remains crucial, Cincinnati booted their way to the championship game with a 31-yard field goal — stopping Mahomes from reaching his third straight Super Bowl.
Mahomes passed for 26-of-39 for 275 yards, three touchdowns and two interceptions.
Bengals running back Joe Mixon added tough yardage on the ground — rushing for 88 yards on 21 carries.
AFC champ and Bengals QB Joe Cool completed for 23-of-38 for 250 yards, two touchdowns, and an interception.
Cincinnati awaits the victor of the NFC Championship Game to set the stage for Super Bowl 56 at SoFi Stadium.
Follow along on Twitter: @AlejandroAveela
7 CommentsLeave a Reply
Y’all shoulda let Kinsey have the first write up out. Man deserves that space, but happy for him, that city and all the Ohio people that have a Joe Burrow in their world. We loved him in BR, but he’s the leagues now!
Yeah all that and a bag of chips Pat has now lost two in a row to Burrow lol
KC lost only two times since Oct. Both to Cincy on walk-off FGs. Life is strange
All I kept thinking watching Burrow is imagine what he could do if he actually HAD an o line?! It wouldn’t be fair. Their current pass protection plan involves the Cincy tackles yelling “look out Joe!”
Great win for my Bengals. May have to change my name on this site.
Chiefs fan. Tough loss but Congrats. Hard to root against Joe and the Bengals. KC didn’t deserve to win.
And a big dose of evil Patrick Mahomes replacing good Patrick Mahomes at half. And two horribly called scoring opportunities inside the 5 at the end of each half that yielded only 3 points. And inexplicably not running the ball more when they were averaging 5.5 yards per carry and Mahomes was struggling. All told, a baffling loss by KC. I imagine this one will haunt them for a long time.