The Cincinnati Bengals have officially pulled off the impossible. After years of struggling and placing at the bottom of their division, they are now about to play in the Super Bowl. Throughout this miraculous run, the Bengals were able to beat a number of great teams. They started by knocking off the Las Vegas Raiders, followed by the number one seeded Tennessee Titans. This week, they took off the number two seeded Kansas City Chiefs on the road.
How Did the Bengals Pull This Off?
Joe Burrow was excellent once again. He was able to throw for 250 yards, two touchdowns and an interception during the game. He also had five rushes for 25 yards, with a few of those coming on critical third and long situations down the stretch of the game that he converted on. Joe Mixon as expected took the bulk of the rush attempts. Exchanging 21 for 88 yards without a touchdown.
Through the air, Tee Higgins was the main contributor. CJ Uzomah sprained his MCL in the first quarter of action, allowing the Chiefs to safely double team Ja’Marr Chase the entire contest. Higgins had six receptions for 103 yards with Chase getting six for 54 and a touchdown.
Defensively, this team really stepped up. They were down 21-3 at the half but somehow had all the momentum. That was because they had picked up a tremendous goal line stop at the one-yard line with the clock expiring. After that, this defense didn’t allow anything. They racked up four sacks on the night and picked off Patrick Mahomes twice. They also forced a fumble, but it got recovered by Kansas City.
Lastly, we have to mention Evan McPherson. The rookie kicker has been perfect throughout the postseason with multiple game winning kicks under his best. He drilled all four of his attempts in this game, including the game winner in overtime.
Chiefs Get Their Hearts Broken Again
Now with the Chiefs. It was another disappointing end to their season, but some could argue that they weren’t even supposed to make it this far after the Buffalo Bills game. Mahomes threw for 275 yards, three touchdowns and two interceptions but didn’t do anything in the second half. Most of his positive stats came from the first two quarters, it completely stopped from there. This team only scored three points all half. Those three came with the clock expiring as well to go into overtime.
Jerick McKinnon wasn’t bad on the ground. He had 12 rushes for 65 total yards. Clyde Edwards-Helaire had six carries for 36 yards of his own. As for the receiving numbers, Travis Kelce led the crew with 10 catches for 95 yards and a touchdown. Tyreek Hill had seven catches for 78 yards and another touchdown but was almost shut out in the second half. Mecole Hardman scored their last touchdown.
They just didn’t make enough plays to win defensively. There was no big momentum shift that they needed. They only sacked Joe Burrow once on the night. Plus, they only forced one Burrow interception. That was their only turnover. The Chiefs have zero issues on the offense, but that defense needs some serious work in the secondary.
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