Where have we seen this before? The Cincinnati Bengals and Kansas City Chiefs are squaring off in the AFC Championship Game for the second straight year. Kickoff from Arrowhead Stadium is slated for 6:30 p.m. ET, and the game will air on CBS.
AFC Championship Game history
2022: Bengals def. Chiefs, 27-24 (OT)
If this year’s AFC Championship Game is anything like last year’s, we are in for a real treat. Cincinnati entered as 7-point underdogs and looked absolutely outmatched early on. Tyreek Hill hauled in a 10-yard touchdown pass to put the Chiefs up 7-0 and it didn’t stop there. Travis Kelce and Mecole Hardeman also pulled in touchdown passes and suddenly, the Bengals found themselves down, 21-3.
A Samaje Perine 41-yard touchdown catch cut the lead to 21-10, but the play of the game came at the end of the first half. On first and goal from the one-yard line with nine seconds left and no timeouts, Patrick Mahomes found Hill who was stopped in his tracks by Eli Apple, running out the clock. Kansas City should have led at least 24-10, possibly 28-10, and instead took just a 21-10 lead into the locker room.
The third quarter was all Bengals as an Evan McPherson 31-yard field goal and Ja’Marr Chase two-yard touchdown catch (plus two-point conversion) knotted things up at 21. Cincinnati took a 24-21 lead on a McPherson 52-yard field goal with just six minutes left, but Harrison Butker buried a 44-yard field goal of his own as time expired to send the game to overtime.
In overtime, the Chiefs got the ball first but Mahomes took a deep shot for Hill and paid the price: Jessie Bates III intercepted him, setting up the Bengals on their own 40. Burrow and the offense promptly moved the ball 42 yards and set up McPherson, the rookie kicker with ice in his veins, for a game-winning 31-yard field goal that sent the Bengals to the Super Bowl. Can this year’s rematch top that drama?