Chiefs Get Revenge, Use Last-Second Field Goal To Beat Bengals And Advance To Super Bowl

The Cincinnati Bengals won’t be heading to their second straight Super Bowl. After beating the Kansas City Chiefs in last year’s AFC Title Game, the Chiefs got revenge Sunday evening, beating the Bengals 23-20 on a Harrison Butker field goal with three seconds remaining.

The Chiefs will be heading to this year’s Super Bowl to face the Philadelphia Eagles in Super Bowl LVII.

The Chiefs got off to a hot start, putting plenty of pressure under Joe Burrow playing behind a backup offensive line. He was sacked three times on the Bengals’ first two drives but with a resolve the team has shown for the past two years, battled back.

But the Chiefs got on the board first. On their first possession, Kansas City went seven plays for 39 yards that ended in a Harrison Butker field goal. The Chiefs nearly found the end zone, quarterback Patrick Mahomes throwing a downfield strike to WR Kadarius Toney, who couldn’t hold onto the football. Andy Reid challenged the call but the play stood.

Kansas City added another Butker field goal on the following possession, a 12-play march that stalled out inside the Bengals’ ten. Another touchdown was narrowly missed thanks to a hold on OL Andrew Wylie, nullifying RB Isiah Pacheco’s run into the end zone.

Burrow’s Bengals found traction early in the second quarter. Controlling the ball largely through the air, Burrow hit WR Tyler Boyd on 3rd and 14 for 16 yards to move into field goal territory. Like the Chiefs, the Bengals’ drive stalled and Evan McPherson put Cincinnati’s first points on the board, a 30-yard boot with 8:36 before halftime.

It took until there was less than four minutes to go for the first touchdown to be scored, a surprise given the offensive potency of both teams. Patrick Mahomes hit Travis Kelce for a 14-yard touchdown with 3:53 left, a fourth and goal risk by Andy Reid to get into the end zone and gamble that paid off.

Mahomes and Kelce came into the game injured. Mahomes suffered an ankle injury in the team’s Divisional win over the Jacksonville Jaguars while Kelce had a back injury flare up in practice leading up to the game. Both players looked hobbled in moments but ultimately dressed.

Cincinnati made it a 13-6 game right before halftime thanks to a 23-yard kick by McPherson. The Chiefs went three-and-out on their first possession of the second half and the Bengals took advantage, needing only eight plays to go 62 yards. WR Tee Higgins leapt over rookie CB Jaylen Watson for a 27-yard score along the right sideline, getting revenge after Watson had an end zone breakup earlier in the game. The score tied the game at 13.

In typical Chiefs’ fashion, they answered back. On 3rd and 10 from the Bengals’ 19, Mahomes hit WR Marquez Valdes-Scantling for a touchdown against a wide open middle of the field. Cincinnati immediately went three-and-out, seemingly putting Kansas City in control of the game. But on the ensuing possession, Mahomes fumbled the football attempting to throw a quick screen, the ball squirting out of his hand and recovered by the Bengals’ DE Sam Hubbard after a brief scrum.

The Bengals capitalized on the critical error. Headlined by a 35 yard completion to WR Ja’Marr Chase on 4th and 6 that put Cincinnati in the low red zone, RB Samaje Perine crossed over the goal line from two yards two plays later. With the extra point, the game was knotted at 20 with 13:30 left in regulation.

Despite a controversial drive with questionable penalties that gave the Chiefs several chances to convert, Kansas City punted after eight plays. The Bengals got out of their own end zone on the next drive but quickly ended it after Burrow was picked by rookie Joshua Williams off a deflection deep down the sideline by CB Bryan Cook. The Bengals finished the game with nine penalties compared to the Chiefs’ four.

Playing without several wide receivers, including an injured JuJu Smith-Schuster who suffered a knee injury during the game, Mahomes hit backups Marcus Kemp and rookie Skyy Moore for medium-sized gains to start their next drive. Pacheco put the team on his back with a 16 yard catch-and-run, busting out of several tackles to put the Chiefs near midfield. But on the edge of field goal range with three minutes left, their drive stalled and ended in a punt after a failed 3rd and 12 conversion.

With 2:30 to go and on his own six yard line, Burrow went to work. After a quick first down, an incompletion/intentional grounding put the Bengals in 3rd and 16, Burrow threw a dime to TE Hayden Hurst for 23 yards, continuing their drive with less than a minute to go. Again, their o-line struggles hindered the offense, Burrow sacked by DL Chris Jones to give the Chiefs the ball with 30 seconds left. Jones was dominant the entire game, finishing with five QB hits, three tackles for loss, and two sacks.

Moore returned the Chiefs’ punt for 29 yards, their longest punt return of the season, to put them at their own 47. On first down, Mahomes dumped off to Pacheco to get into Bengals’ territory. On 3rd and 4, Mahomes scrambled around in classic fashion and picked up the first down, drawing an unnecessary roughness after being shoved late out of bounds by DE Joseph Ossai.

With eight seconds left, Butker set up for a 45-yard attempt. It was good, giving the Chiefs a 23-20 lead with three seconds remaining.

The Chiefs squibbed the final kickoff and the Bengals’ lateral attempts failed.

The Chiefs will take on the Eagles in this year’s Super Bowl two weeks from today. The Eagles knocked off the San Francisco 49ers in blowout fashion earlier today.

Notes: Mahomes finished the day with 326 yards and two touchdowns…Burrow threw for 270 yards, one touchdown, and two picks while being sacked five times…neither team had a player rush for more than 30 yards…this will be the Chiefs’ third Super Bowl appearance in the last four years…Smith-Schuster caught one pass for seven yards before leaving due to his knee injury…the Chiefs were +1 in the turnover battle

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