It’s revenge time in Kansas City, as Joe Burrow and the Cincinnati Bengals take on Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium in the AFC Championship game for the second consecutive season.
The winner will move on to Super Bowl LVII in Arizona (February 12, 6:30 p.m. ET on FOX and the FOX Sports app), where they will face the Philadelphia Eagleswho removed the San Francisco 49ers31-7, in the NFC title game earlier on FOX.
Here are the highlights!
Cincinnati Bengals vs. Kansas City Chiefs
Clark grabs Burrow
Frank Clark ended the Bengals’ opening practice when he dropped Burrow for a 10-yard loss on third down, forcing Cincinnati to punt.
We didn’t know how much impact Travis Kelce would have entered Sunday’s game, as he suffered a back injury during practice on Friday. That didn’t seem to bother him on Kansas City’s first drive, as he grabbed and fought for 16 yards on the Chiefs’ third play of the game.
Kadarius Toney came so close to make a touchdown catch during the Chiefs’ opening practice. However, he was unable to secure the hold when he hit the ground, making it an incomplete pass.
Kansas City challenged the play, but the field call was upheld. The Chiefs did manage to get three points on the drive, however, as Harrison Butker connected on a 43-yard field goal on the next play.
The Bengals offensive line ran into trouble early on. After allowing a third sack on the first disc, the unit gave up sacks on consecutive plays on the second disc.
Willie Gay came in with second on second down to make it third and 18. Then Chiefs star defensive tackle Chris Jones came in with the sack on the next play — his first playoff sack.
The Chiefs moved the ball upfield again on their second practice of the game. As they headed into Bengals territory, Kelce made another first down. But right after catching, Kelce threw the ball to his left to Jerick McKinnon. The toss wasn’t clean, but the McKinnons fell on it to make sure Kansas City kept the ball.
Isiah Pacheco made his way into the end zone a few plays later, but the touchdown was wiped off the board due to a holding penalty. The Chiefs therefore settled for three again, giving them a 6-0 lead early in the second quarter.
Four is the party!
George Karlaftis had fun sacking the Chiefs, helping them get their fourth sack in the Bengals’ first three game drives.
Bengals tight end Hayden Hurst was so close to hitting a touchdown on third down. Burrow’s pass to him in the end zone went through his hands and fell incomplete, forcing Cincy to settle for three and make it a 6-3 game.
MVS in motion
Marques Valdez-Scantling followed a pass from Mahomes as he ran the other way on the ball and netted a 29-yard catch to bring the Chiefs deep into Bengals territory.
The Chiefs opted to go fourth and the decision paid off. After Mahomes bought time by scrambling, he found Kelce 1-on-1 in the end zone for the game’s first touchdown to make it 13-3 at the end of the first half.
Bad past Terrier
Burrow made a rare costly mistake just before the two-minute first-half warning when he underestimated his intended receiver while under pressure. Jaylen Watson was the beneficiary of the pitch as the seventh-round rookie recorded an interception for the second straight game, putting the Chiefs in Bengals territory.
Bengals get a boost
Third down from deep in their own territory, the Bengals looked set to return the ball to the Chiefs before halftime. To make matters worse, the Chiefs appeared to be on the verge of having a great position on the pitch with the ball as well when Burrow’s pass to Hurst was intercepted. However, Chiefs safety Bryan Cook hit Hurst just before the ball came in, causing pass interference.
Higgins shoots deep
Tee Higgins was the clutch player for the Bengals on their drive before halftime. After making a five-yard grab and an 11-yard grab, Higgins caught a pass along the sideline for a 21-yard gain to move the Bengals to the Chiefs’ 5-yard line.
Practice ended there for Cincinnati, but he managed to score a basket late in the half to make it 13-6 going into the break.
Burrow in motion
The Bengals QB used his legs to get a first down from Cincy on third-and-six and drive deeper into Chiefs territory.
The Bengals were able to force the Chiefs to make it three-and-one on the first drive of the second half and they took advantage. After Burrow’s first down on the previous third down, the Bengals went on the hunt for the big play and got through. Burrow threw a through pass to Higgins, who was received by a pair of Chiefs defenders on the goal line for a touchdown to tie the game 13-13.
Game of thumbs
Valdez-Scantling came with the hold just past the first-down scorer on the third-and-7 and officials initially ruled him short of the line to win. However, Valdez-Scantling reached out and barely managed to get the ball over the marker after the Chiefs challenged the decision on the field.
On another third down play, Mahomes again found Valdez-Scantling in the middle. This time though, the receiver was in the end zone, carrying the catch while in traffic for the touchdown to give KC a 20-13 lead in the third quarter.
Stay tuned for updates!
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