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  • Writer's pictureClarion Staff

NFL Playoffs - AFC Championship

By David Thatcher Clarion Staff Reporter

What a crazy turn of events January 30 the Kansas City Chiefs and Cincinnati Bengals game at Arrowhead stadium.

At first, many thought the Bengals had met their match with the Chiefs when Kansas City’s quarterback Patrick Mahomes II completed his first three drives in the first half with touchdowns, and the Cincinnati Bengals struggled to find a way to put touchdowns on the board to keep up.

However, sometimes those 12-15 minutes at half-time work wonders for teams, and it certainly did for the Cincinnati Bengals. They were able to regroup and get their offense fired up to start scoring touchdowns to cut the point deficit they had with the Chiefs.

The Chiefs struggled a lot in the second half with their drives resulting in punting the football and a disastrous interception thrown at the Chiefs 25-yard line, which resulted in a Bengals touchdown making the score 17-21 with the Bengals still trailing.

The fired-up Bengals offense came back from a 10-21 deficit, capitalizing on the Chiefs’ lack of production in the second half. Ending up taking the lead in the 4th quarter, putting the Cincinnati Bengals on top with a score of 24-21 after they scored two touchdowns.

Kansas City finally put some points on the board with their final drive, but what I found to be quite strange was some of the play-calling the Chiefs did inside the red zone. Instead of scoring an arguably easy rushing touchdown in the final seconds of the game, the Chiefs decided to run a couple of pass plays that Cincinnati’s defense capitalized on. The Bengals sacked quarterback Patrick Mahomes II twice, resulting in the Chiefs taking a field goal, forcing the game into overtime once again.

Surprisingly, Kansas City won the coin toss again but it certainly did not have the same result as the previous playoff game with the Chiefs and the Buffalo Bills match-up. Instead, Kansas City was once again struggling on offense, and an attempted deep pass targeted to wide receiver Tyreek Hill was intercepted.

The Bengals capitalized on the turnover, marched downfield, and set up an easy 31-yard field goal for the Bengals’ rookie kicker Evan McPherson. He made the field goal with ease, sending the Cincinnati Bengals to Super Bowl LVI. Bengals fans are extremely thrilled, considering their last Super Bowl appearance was in 1988. However the real question is, can the Cincinnati Bengals take the Lombardi Trophy home with them?

Clearly, the mistakes and arguably poor play calling by the Chiefs in the most crucial parts of the game gave the Bengals the opportunity they needed to win the AFC Championship, keeping their championship win streak alive. Currently their win-to-loss ratio is 3-0 in the AFC Championship, but now it’s time for them to break their Super Bowl losing streak which currently is 0-2.

February 13 is the date to circle for Super Bowl LVI that will take place at SoFi Stadium, the home of the Los Angeles Rams who are extremely lucky to have home field advantage against the Cincinnati Bengals.

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