It’s rematch 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 straight season.
The winner will advance to Super Bowl LVII in Arizona (Feb. 12, 6:30 p.m. ET on FOX and the FOX Sports App), where they’ll face the Philadelphia Eagles, which took down the San Francisco 49ers, 31-7, in the NFC title game earlier on FOX.
Here are the highlights!
Cincinnati Bengals at Kansas City Chiefs
Clark catches Burrow
Frank Clark put an end to the Bengals’ opening drive when he dropped Burrow for a 10-yard loss on third down, forcing Cincinnati to punt.
It was unknown how much of an impact Travis Kelce would have entering Sunday’s game, as he suffered a back injury during Friday’s practice. It didn’t appear to bother him on Kansas City’s opening drive, however, as he made a grab and fought for 16 yards on the Chiefs’ third play of the game.
Kadarius Toney came this close to making a touchdown catch on the Chiefs’ opening drive. However, he wasn’t able to secure the grab as he hit the ground, making it an incomplete pass.
Kansas City challenged the play, but the call on the field was upheld. The Chiefs were able to get three points on the drive though, as Harrison Butker connected on a 43-yard field goal on the next play.
The Bengals’ offensive line faced trouble early. After allowing a third-down sack on the first drive, the unit gave up sacks on back-to-back plays on the second drive.
Willie Gay came up with the second on second down to make it third-and-18. Then, Chiefs star defensive tackle Chris Jones came up with the sack on the next play — his first sack in the postseason.
The Chiefs were moving the ball down the field again on their second drive of the game. As they made their way into Bengals territory, Kelce made another first-down grab. But right after making the catch, Kelce tossed the ball to his left to Jerick McKinnon. The toss wasn’t clean, but the McKinnon fell on it to make sure that Kansas City retained possession.
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. So the Chiefs settled for three again, giving them a 6-0 lead at the beginning of the second quarter.
Four’s a party!
George Karlaftis got in the sacking fun for the Chiefs, helping them get their fourth sack in the Bengals’ first three drives of the game.
Bengals tight end Hayden Hurst was so close to coming up with a touchdown grab 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.
M-V-S on the move
Marques Valdez-Scantling tracked a pass from Mahomes while he was running in the other direction from the ball and hauled in a 29-yard catch to get the Chiefs deep into Bengals’ territory.
The Chiefs opted to go for it on fourth-and-short and the decision paid off. After Mahomes bought time by scrambling around, he found Kelce 1-on-1 in the end zone for the game’s first touchdown to make it 13-3 late in the first half.
Bad pass Burrow
Burrow made a rare costly mistake right before the two-minute warning in the first half when he underthrew his intended receiver as he was under pressure. Jaylen Watson was the beneficiary of the throw as the seventh-round rookie recorded an interception for the second straight game, putting the Chiefs in Bengals’ territory.
Bengals get a boost
On third down from deep in their own territory, the Bengals looked like they were about to give the Chiefs the ball back before halftime. To make matters worse, the Chiefs appeared like they were about to have great field position with the ball too as Burrow’s pass to Hurst was intercepted. However, Chiefs safety Bryan Cook hit Hurst right before the ball got there, drawing a pass interference.
Higgins hauls in deep grab
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.
The drive stalled there for Cincinnati, but it was able to kick a field goal right as the half ended to make it a 13-6 game going into the break.
Burrow on the move
The Bengals QB used his legs to get Cincy a first down on third-and-6 and move deeper into Chiefs’ territory.
The Bengals were able to force the Chiefs to go three-and-out on the opening drive of the second half and they took advantage. After Burrow’s first-down scramble on the previous third down, the Bengals went big-play hunting again and succeeded. Burrow threw a deep pass to Higgins, who came down with the reception of a pair of Chiefs defenders at the goal line for a touchdown to tie the game 13-13.
Game of inches
Valdez-Scantling came up with the grab right in front of the first-down marker on third-and-7 and the officials initially ruled him short of the line to gain. However, Valdez-Scantling reached forward and barely got the ball over the marker after the Chiefs challenged the ruling on the field.
For the lead!
On another third-down play, Mahomes found Valdez-Scantling over the middle again. This time though, the receiver was in the end zone, hauling the catch in while in traffic for the touchdown to give KC a 20-13 lead in the third quarter.
Mahomes makes massive mistake
The Chiefs star QB somehow had the ball slip out of his hand when he tried to attempt a screen pass. Sam Hubbard jumped on it, giving the Bengals the ball back around midfield and down seven in the final moments of the third quarter.
Stay tuned for updates!
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