This budding rivalry produced another classic playoff game, but this time, the Kansas City Chiefs and Patrick Mahomes were finally able to defeat Joe Burrow and the Cincinnati Bengals to win the AFC Championship, 23-20.
Super Bowl LVII will be between the Chiefs and the Philadelphia Eagles on February 12 at State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Arizona, and can be seen on FOX.
After forcing the Bengals punt with less than a minute left in the game, rookie returner Skyy Moore got the right blocks to drive back 29 yards to the Kansas City 47-yard line to set up Mahomes to get enough yardage. for Harrison Butker to kick him for the win.
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Mahomes scrambled to try to get those yards back and the Bengals’ Joseph Ossai hit him out of bounds, a critical penalty that gave the Chiefs more than enough for Butker to end the game.
From 45 yards, Butker was perfect and sent his team to the Super Bowl.
Playing with that high ankle sprain, Mahomes’ mobility was certainly diminished, but he did whatever it took to move the ball and it worked. He finished the game with 326 yards on 29-for-43 with two touchdown passes.
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Meanwhile, Burrow was 26 of 41 for 270 yards with a touchdown pass and two interceptions, ultimately losing to the Chiefs early in his career.
It wasn’t the best start for the Bengals, but they started the second half the way they wanted, forcing a 3-and-out on the Chiefs and immediately tying the game with an eight-play drive that saw Tee Higgins rise over his defender to catch the ball. ball at its highest point in the end zone for a 27-yard standout hook.
Mahomes responded quickly to Burrow as their 11-play drive had some magic that resulted in Márquez Valdés-Scantling being dropped in the end zone for a touchdown to put the Chiefs back ahead.
However, a crucial fumble turned the game around late in the third quarter. Mahomes was sacked and the ball came out, and while he fought to get it back, the Bengals kept the ball and Burrow wasn’t going to do it all for nothing.
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On an aggressive 4-and-6 call from head coach Zac Taylor, Ja’Marr Chase tried to get past Higgins, jumping and dragging a Burrow pass past two defenders to set up a Samaje Perine rushing touchdown to tie the game.
In the first half, the Chiefs got on the board first after Harrison Butker made a 43-yard field goal after the officials ruled Kadarius Toney missed what would have been the first touchdown of the game on a deep down the line pass. Mahomes’ left winger. .
The Bengals struggled with the Chiefs’ defense to start this one, as Burrow was sacked three times in the first two series of the game. Kansas City collected one more before the half was up as well.
However, Burrow struggled and found his way with a 13-play drive that went 63 yards to tie the game at three apiece.
Mahomes responded with the first touchdown drive of the game and used Márquez Valdés-Scantling to drive down the field. He found the No. 11 on consecutive plays, one for 11 yards and the other for 29 yards to drive into Bengals territory.
Then, after buying some time, the Mahomes-Kelce connection resulted in six points once again on a 14-yard pass.
Kelce finished the game with 78 yards on seven catches, though it was a game-time decision with a back injury that occurred in practice Friday. It didn’t seem to bother him.
Valdes-Scantling was the leading receiver with 116 yards on six receptions, while rookie Isiah Pacheco added 59 receiving yards on five catches.
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For the Bengals, Higgins had 83 yards on six receptions, while Chase also finished with 75 yards on six receptions. Burrow led Cincinnati’s rushing attack with 30 yards on four carries.