The AFC side of the knockout stages has also ended in a similar fashion over the four seasons running, with the conference’s second-best team meeting the Kansas City Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium. Their opponents this time are the Cincinnati Bengals, who beat Kansas City in Week 17 by an on-field goal when time expired, knocking out the AFC top seed.
The rematch brought more severe consequences. The Bengals haven’t competed in a Super Bowl in 33 years, and Kansas City, after 50 years between appearances, is aiming for the third time in a row.
Patrick Mahomes on Sunday will become the first quarterback in league history to start four games for the conference championship before his 27th birthday. He cross an uneven road start this season by being patient, and last week against Buffalo in the division round threw 378 yards without even trying to make a single pass of 20 yards or more. Mahomes relies on a receiver team for yards after the catch, and his two favorite targets are Travis Kelce, who has 13 tackles in 204 meters this season, and Tyreek Hill, who has 16 lines. pass to 207.
Mahomes threw for 259 yards and two touchdowns in Week 17, but Kansas City took a three 14-point lead as their defense failed to stop Cincinnati duo Joe Burrow and Ja’Marr Chase, who took 266 ball reception and three touches.
Kansas City’s defensive coordinator, Steve Spagnuolo, probably won’t deploy as much press as he did in the previous meeting. The possibility of a safe return Tyrann Mathieu, who missed most of Buffalo with a concussion, could also help, as could another disruptive game from the Chris Jones defense. The Titans fired Burrow nine times in the division round, and if Jones, an inside force, can apply consistent pressure, he could help determine the outcome of Sunday’s game.
In the second year of his NFL career, Burrow rejuvenated a middleweight Cincinnati franchise that hasn’t won a playoff game since before he was even born.
Burrow showed he has the potential to become a future Bengals full-back during his rookie season, as he threw more than 300 yards in five of the 10 games he started, but his season was cut short after he tore multiple ligaments on his left side. knee with Washington in Week 11 last season.
Burrow has returned from injury this season and has shone with his ability to hit precise passes down the pitch into a tight goal under tremendous pressure. Although Cincinnati surrounded Burrow with talented attacking pieces – including Chase, Burrow’s former teammate at Louisiana State and this season’s winner of this season’s Offensive Rookie of the Year award – the Bengals have made some improvements. advance on their troubled offensive line. Burrow is the most sacked midfielder (51) in the regular season.
In the Bengals’ 3-point win over the AFC’s top seed Titans in the division round, Burrow spent much of his time on the ground or away from the Tennessee defence. The Titans recorded 13 midfield hits on Burrow and fired him nine times, setting a post-season record.
Although the Bengals were able to win 19-16 against Tennessee, it’s rare for a team that allows their quarterback to face such pressure that can go on to win. Cincinnati’s ability to provide Burrow with a clean bag against a rushed Kansas City pass will be crucial to the success of the Bengals’ attack.
However, the Bengals had no trouble scoring points during the season, and were able to keep up with Kansas City’s strong attack, which scored 42 points in each of the first two rounds of the season. Cincinnati already has a top 10 scoring record behind Burrow, Chase and rerun Joe Mixon, who has 1,205 yards of charge and 13 touchdowns, both career highs, in the regular season.
While much of the Bengals’ success has been predicted from Burrow’s connection to his players, they have received help from their defence, especially recently, at the close of the game. .
In Cincinnati’s win over the Raiders in the wilds, line-up defender Germaine Pratt caught an intercept in Las Vegas’ potential game-force engine to close the game. And in the game against the Titans, defender Logan Wilson tackled Ryan Tannehill with 20 seconds left to seal the win against Evan McPherson at 52 yards.
Vonn Bell, a safety and captain in the Bengals’ defense, told reporters this week that facing Mahomes and Kansas City recently helped, adding that Cincinnati’s defensive unit needed had to “clean up our tech” in the game of conference titles.
https://www.nytimes.com/2022/01/30/sports/football/chiefs-bengals-afc-championship.html What to watch as Kansas City hosts team Bengal in the AFC Championship